Shares of New York-listed Nordic American Tankers slid to a sharp drop in trading on Monday for reasons that were not entirely clear.
There were unconfirmed reports of a bloc sale of more than 3.6m shares shortly after the market opened, with NAT sliding 21% to $2.10 in Monday morning trading before the stock firmed to $2.36 at market close.
Trading volume near 23.4m shares was about three times NAT’s daily average.
Aside from the family of NAT founder and chief executive Herbjorn Hansson, there are only five institutional shareholders with enough stock to have carried out the reported bloc sale, according to Yahoo Finance.
They are BlackRock with 9.9m shares, Morgan Stanley with 5.4m, Allspring Global Investments with 5.1m and Millennium Management with 3.6m.
There was little apparent news around NAT preceding the drop except for a brief announcement from the company that it will announce earnings 31 May.
In the same statement, NAT disclosed that it had booked 70% of its operating days in the current quarter at $20,000 a day.
One analyst said this may have come as a disappointment to some in NAT’s large retail shareholder base.
“Given that the message board crowd that trades this stock was probably expecting two-to-three times that $20,000, there could be some selling,” he said.
NAT's guidance does fall moderately short of some other suezmax owners who have guided to second-quarter figures so far.
For example, Teekay Tankers has reported 52% of days fixed at $27,400 per day.
International Seaways has reported a rate of $24,600 with 40% of days fixed.
NAT is in line with the guidance given by Belgian giant Euronav, which cites a rate of $19,700 with 44% of days fixed.
The $20,000 figure could, however, help NAT get back into black numbers for the first time since 2020.
NAT's fleet-wide cash breakeven rate is $16,900 per day, according to a client note from HC Wainwright analyst Magnus Fyhr.
NAT's announcement on Monday said little else except for a somewhat oddly worded reference to the war in Ukraine.
“The market for our ships is dominated by implications caused by the Russian/Ukrainian conflict. Political events are well known to our business,” NAT said.
NAT owns 20 suezmax tankers and has one newbuilding scheduled for delivery.