Navios Maritime Partners L.P.NMM performed disappointingly in the fourth quarter of 2018, wherein both earnings and revenues missed their respective Zacks Consensus Estimate. The company's earnings (excluding 3 cents from non-recurring items) of 3 cents per unit fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2 cents. The bottom line also declined on a year-over-year basis.
We note that Master limited partnerships (or MLPs) differ from regular stocks because interests in them are referred to as units. Notably, unitholders (not shareholders) are partners in the business.
Navios Maritime Partners LP Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Total revenues came in at $57.5 million, which lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $57.9 million. Moreover, the top line (time charter and voyage revenues) declined 2.9% from the year-ago quarter number due to decrease in the time charter equivalent rate or TCE among other factors. The TCE rate declined 8.9% to $15,632 per day in the reported quarter. However, the acquisition of multiple vessels in 2017 and 2018 aided the top line.
Due to the expanded fleet size, available days for the same increased 2.8% year over year to 3,469 in the final quarter of 2018. Fleet utilization during the reported quarter came in at 98.8% compared with 99.4% a year-ago.
The partnership exited 2018 with cash and cash equivalents (inclusive of restricted cash) of $61.5 million compared with$29.9 million at 2017-end. Meanwhile, total borrowings were $507.5 million as of Dec 31, 2018 compared with $493.5 million as of Dec 31, 2017. Net debt to book capitalization in the reported quarter was 34.7%, representing a 6% year over year reduction.
In 2018, Navios Maritime Partners, which carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), rewarded its unitholders to the tune of $18 million through $13.7 million in cash distribution and $4.2 million in current distribution. Moreover, a $50 million unit repurchase program is currently underway. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .
Investors interested in the broader Transportation sector are keenly awaiting fourth-quarter earnings reports from key players, such as Expeditors International of Washington EXPD , Old Dominion Freight Line ODFL and Air Lease Corporation AL . While Old Dominion will release fourth-quarter results on Feb 7, Expeditors and Air Lease will report the same on Feb 19 and Feb 21, respectively.
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