So far I can only fault Ian for the expense in creating the options. I was disappointed, obviously, that they didn't restore the dividend, but it sure looks like they got that one right in hindsight.
The rest has been purely a result of market conditions over which Ian has no control.
They sure did get the staggered long term charters right, however. For all the concern that one might have over 2 ships coming off a year from now, imagine if it were half the fleet coming off right now. There is an excellent chance that GSL will have skated through the entire economic crisis with great charters. The tonnage situation could very well work itself out in the second half of 2012. And, as Edge points out, any short term hit from those two renewals can be more than offset by the swaps that are also expiring.
In your dialog, is Ian supposed to have an accent like Brad Pitt's character in Snatch?
In all seriousness though, there will likely be a hit in the 2012 charter expirations but it will be very small in the relative scheme of things. Furthermore, swap roll-offs will provide extra cash more than offsetting this.
Cavalatica had it right...mediocre business, wonderful price.
Most of that stuff was right in the quarterly reports. I didn't know beforehand their drydockings schedule but it is an inevitable expense. They did plan to raise some cash early in the year, we got a bit unlucky with the timing.
On the other hand, everyone blasted Ian when he didn't follow through on the Zim ships after paying for those options. While the reasons related to lack of funding primarily, that's looking pretty good now considering Zim's very fragile situation. We got lucky there.
The problem is that the story only keeps getting worse. Hits on the swaps, drydockings, and two charters up at EOY - all erodes the fully-chartered, consistent cash flow, hopeful dividend machine this was supposed to be, with no mitigating action by management. What's next? You wonder if they're lacking ideas, balls or both.
Or maybe they're out to lunch until November. Ian: "It's fully chartered baby, I'm just collecting rent checks, all the work was done in 08! In November I'll be like, 'Bank man, we cool? No? 'kay, here's mo' money. CMA papa, how much you want to pay me for these here ships? A-ight, cool bro.' Til then, it's easy street!"
Not arguing that.
My premise for investing in GSL lies in the fact that it is a fair (mediocre) company selling for a wonderful price, not the other way around. Though we know what old uncle Warren says...
A take on the Simpsons episode where Germans buy the power plant and question Homer about his accomplishments:
Investors: You have been CEO for over 3 years. What initiatives have you spearheaded in that time?
Ian: Uh... All of them?
Here are the necessary conditions for a $10 share price:
- Healthy expansion of world trade
- Undercapacity in ship supply
- Low interest rates
- Management comfort in a high payout ratio after excess cash from swap expiration and lower interest margin
All those could theoretically exist, it's just very difficult in this environment for investors to believe those conditions would exist...maybe 2013-14.