Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Nordic American Tankers Is A Sucker's Bet

For many years Nordic American Tankers (NAT) has been a favorite shipping stock, particularly among dividend-yield chasing investors, by offering outsized cash distributions to its shareholders regardless of freight market conditions.

But since current management took over operational control of the company in October 2004, its stock price has steadily drifted lower and lower, generating huge capital losses that have trampled in size the supposedly generous cash payouts.

In this article I will analyze how the company has managed to maintain a high-dividend payout strategy (while pursuing an aggressive fleet expansion at the same time) and why such strategy is unsustainable. In short, I will showcase why investing in NAT is a prime example of a sucker bet.

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