This 17% Dividend Shipping Stock is Making Waves

February 16, 2024
By The Investing Insider Staff

Key Takeaways:

  • Torm PLC (Ticker: TRMD) is a top global product tanker company with a diversified fleet of 93 vessels and 3% market share.

  • The company has an efficient operational model and diversified blue-chip customer base, including major oil companies and traders.

  • Geopolitical tensions have driven increased demand for long-haul shipping, benefiting Torm's revenue and enabling high dividend payouts.

TORM PLC (NASDAQ: TRMD) is one of the world’s largest owners and operators of product tankers that transport refined oil products and chemicals.

Boasting a legacy of over 130 years, TORM's evolution from its inception in 1889 to its status as one of the top transporters of clean products is marked by operational excellence and strategic foresight in the global product tanker industry.

The company's adeptness at navigating a highly fragmented market landscape, where it commands a 3% market share as the 3rd largest product tanker owner globally, has been instrumental in its ability to outperform peers consistently.

TORM Stock

As of November 2023, TORM operates a diverse fleet of 93 tanker vessels, all fully delivered, with a significant focus on environmental sustainability. This fleet comprises of:

  • 20 LR2 vessels, with an average age of 9.5 years, denoting Large Range-2 tankers that are among the largest in the product tanker category, ideal for long-haul crude oil and product transportation.
  • 12 LR1 vessels, averaging 12.4 years, indicating Large Range-1 tankers, slightly smaller than LR2s, versatile for carrying both crude and refined products.
  • 61 MR vessels, with an average age of 11.7 years, Medium Range tankers are well-suited for short to medium-haul routes.

Of these, 67 vessels are equipped with scrubbers, advanced systems designed to reduce air pollution by removing harmful components from the ship's exhaust. TORM's proactive stance on environmental sustainability, with its aim for a 40% reduction in carbon intensity by 2025 makes it a favorable investing target for ESG funds worldwide.

Efficient Operational Model with a Diversified Customer Base

A distinguishing hallmark of TORM's strategy is its integrated operational model, “ONE TORM,” combining commercial and technical management in-house. This approach not only ensures high operational standards and global fleet readiness but also minimizes resource leakage, aligning the company's interests with those of its stakeholders. TORM's competitive edge is further sharpened by its scale and access to attractively priced capital, enabling industry-leading cost efficiency and low break-even levels.

TORM boasts a clientele of blue-chip customers, including major independent oil companies, state-owned entities, oil traders, and refiners. This diversification ensures no single client accounts for more than approximately 10% of revenues, underscoring a strategic approach to risk management. Among its prestigious partners are industry giants such as Shell, Trafigura, Vitol, Chevron, Total, and Exxon.

Why We Think TRMD Could Be a Top Stock to Buy: Geopolitical Tensions

The interplay of geopolitical tensions has inadvertently benefited TORM (TRMD:NASDAQ) by catalyzing a shift towards higher average freight rates. Events such as COVID-19, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and tensions between Israel and Hamas have led to a step change in the global shipping industry, driving freight rates upward. Sanctions, particularly those affecting the European Union, have transformed import patterns from short-haul to predominantly long-haul routes, significantly enhancing freight revenue for carriers like TORM.

Moreover, the global refinery landscape is undergoing significant dislocation, with refinery closures in net importing regions juxtaposed against capacity expansions primarily in the Middle East and China. This dislocation adds considerable ton-mile demand, benefiting tanker operators by extending the distances oil products must travel from refineries to markets.

Additionally, geopolitical conflicts in strategic locations such as the Red Sea have prompted companies to diversify manufacturing and supply chains, leading to increased nearshoring activities, for example, the shift of American manufacturing to Mexico. This diversification translates to more shipping hubs and, consequently, heightened shipping activity, offering TORM expanded opportunities in a dynamically changing geopolitical environment.

Strong Dividend Payout

TORM's financial performance has been robust over recent years, enabling the company to distribute USD 583 million to shareholders across the last four quarters.

This equates to TORM paying a forward dividend of $5.84 per share, which, based on a $35 stock price, translates to an impressive yield of about 17%.

Now, keep in mind their dividend history is rather sporadic and this extremely high dividend payout is unlikely to continue. But the return to shareholders comes even as the company retains substantial free cash for the maintenance and expansion of its fleet, showcasing TORM's financial health and its ability to reward investors while sustaining operational growth.

Final Thoughts:

In summary, if you are considering investing in the maritime sector, TORM emerges as a compelling option. Its blend of operational excellence, geopolitical tailwinds, and robust financial performance positions it well within the global tanker market.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What is TORM's current fleet composition?

A: 20 LR2, 12 LR1, and 61 MR tankers, with an average age of 11 years. 67 have emissions-reducing scrubbers.

Q: What is TORM's market position in product tankers?

A: It's the 3rd largest product tanker owner globally, with a 3% market share.

Q: How has geopolitics benefited TORM?

A: Conflicts and sanctions have increased long-haul shipping demand, driving up Torm's freight rates and revenue.

Q: How did TORM's financial performance enable high dividends?

A: Strong revenue and cash flow allowed Torm to have a forward dividend of $5.84 per share or 17% dividend yield.

-Investing Insider Staff
This article is informational purposes only and is not investment advice.  See full disclaimer here
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