Golar LNG Limited (GLNG - Free Report) delivered impressive fourth-quarter 2018 results, with earnings and revenues beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate.
The company’s earnings of 32 cents per share outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 17 cents. Also, the bottom line improved significantly on a year-over-year basis.
Total operating revenues amounted to $181.9 million, which surpassed the consensus mark of $132 million. The top line surged more than 100% year over year. Increased vessel demand owing to start-up of LNG production facilities drove the top line.
Of the total figure, revenues from vessel and other operations contributed 70% to the top line and amounted to $127.4 million. Revenues from FLNG operations came in at $54.5 million. Improved shipping activity led to increase in Time Charter Equivalent1 ("TCE") earnings of $77,600 per day in the quarter under discussion compared with $41,200 in the prior quarter.
Vessel operating expenses came in at $29.1 million compared with $28.9 million in the prior quarter. While administrative expenses fell to $12.7 million from $14.8 million in the third quarter, project development expenses declined to $4.7 million compared with $5.7 million in the prior quarter. Depreciation and amortization expenses of $28.3 million came almost in line with the prior quarter’s figure.
This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company exited 2018 with cash and cash equivalents of $704.3 million compared with $214.9 million at December 2017 end. As of Dec 31, 2018, the company’s adjusted long-term debt totaled $2.1 billion compared with $1.02 billion as of Dec 31, 2017. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Concurrent with the earnings release, the board of directors approved a quarterly dividend payment of 15 cents per share. The dividend will be paid on April 3, 2019 to shareholders of record as on Mar 14, 2019.
The company expects improved operational efficiency in 2019 on the back of strength in shipping market activity and benefits from FLNG Hilli Episeyo operations. However, TCE rates are anticipated to decline significantly in the first quarter of 2019 compared with the quarter under discussion.
Stocks to Consider
Investors interested in the broader Transportation Sector may consider Azul S.A. (AZUL - Free Report) , Frontline Ltd. (FRO - Free Report) and Expeditors International of Washington, Inc. (EXPD - Free Report) , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
All the three stocks flaunt impressive earnings surprise history. Azul outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 97.9%. Frontline outpaced the consensus mark in each of the trailing four quarters with an average of 69%. Expeditors outpaced the consensus mark in each of the trailing four quarters with an average of 14.5%.
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