Frontline (FRO) Q1 2024

Released late last night on the Pacific coast. Have not seen the “glossier” presentation deck that usually accompanies the earnings report.

  • Shipping rev of $578.4M (there is additional revenue from the gain in vessel sales)
  • Profit of $180.8M
  • Adj Net Profit of $137.5M (most of the profit delta is gain via sale of 3 VLCCs)
  • Dividend of 62c/sh

The avg rate for VLCCs was $48 100 daily. This avg was dragged down by the remaining 13 VLCCs from the EURN VLCC deal joining the fleet with many ballast days. FRO VLCC avg excluding the EURN VLCC acquisition was $54 200. The Suezmax TCE was $45 000 & Aframax/LR2 avg was $54 300. Q2 done-so-far VLCC avg suggest VLCC avg will be a lot stronger than Q1 2024

More vessel sales (2 VLCC, 2 Suezmax) will close in Q2 2024. Vessel sales and vessel refinancing deals resulted in almost $700M of cash collecting on the books. Some of the cash will go to pay off Fredriksen’s shareholder loan and the Hemen unsecured revolving credit facility ($100M of $275M) in April 2024. More than a few moving parts makes the picture slightly hazy here. But, my major takeaway is that FRO has sufficient cash liquidity for operations. If FRO runs low, it can still tap the unsecured credit facility again.

FRO provided the rates for the two TCs added in 2024

  • VLCC @ 51 500 daily for 3 years
  • Suezmax @ $32 950 daily + 50% profit-share for 3 years (start in Q2)

There might be other good stuff in the earnings call.


Have not seen an Earnings Call transcript yet. However, there is a presentation slide deck (not as glossy as some prior versions)
Slide 4 breaks down the Other income in greater detail
Slide 7 tables might help explain why FRO have not opted to retrofit newer Suezmax or Aframax/LR2 vessels with scrubbers. The greater advantage was gained in transitioning to ECO type vessel
Slide 11 The supply side challenge. I think it is already three years out for newbuilds from major South Korean yards.

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FRO Earnings Call transcript for Q1 2024.
Some non-legible portions in the transcript - not helpful.
My takeaways

  • FRO CEO spent time discussing the different vessel categories
    VLCC: Q1’s issue obviously the delivery of the 13 VLCCs from EURN obviously impacted results. But a secondary factor comes into play - not all of the EURN VLCCs have scrubbers, so there will be some vessels that will use more expensive VLSFO. Then again, FRO also own non-scrubber vessels in the other sizes. Aframax/LR2 was particularly size praised by CEO. Wished the company had more Aframax vessels. Don’t think the question was answered - what is FRO’s mix between LR2 and Aframax.
    New big factor mentioned - the Trans Mountain (TMX) pipeline is complete but the Canada port (I believe Burnaby) lacks storage and is size restricted (to Aframax). The vessels don’t sail across Pacific, but sail South-bound along coast (Mexico, Ecuador and US) to load on larger vessels for the cross ocean voyage.
    One analyst tried to tease out more details on all the cash freed up. Not too successful, other than confirming the shareholder loan from JF and a portion of the credit facility were paid off. But, the issue should be mostly clear by the time FRO report Q2 results.
    Other questions - on dividend, on taking TC coverage.