Dorian LPG, a US-listed owner and operator of 26 large LPG carriers, confirmed on Wednesday expectations for a strong set of financials alongside a cash boost to shareholders.

The company posted net income of $76m or $1.89 per share for the three months ended March, up from $35.4m in the same period last year.

The increase is even more impressive when considering that the John Hadjipateras-led company didn’t repeat a $10.5m gain it had made in the corresponding period of 2022 from derivatives and vessel sales.

Last quarter “marked the culmination of the best financial year in the company’s history,” said Hadjipateras, who is Dorian LPG’s chairman and chief executive officer.

Net income for the 12 months through to March — a period Dorian calls its “fiscal year 2023” — climbed to $172.4m from $71.9m in the corresponding fiscal year of 2022.

In what the company described as a volatile quarter for its LPG trade, time charter equivalent earnings (TCE) rose at an annual pace of 57% in the three months through March to $68,135 per day.

According to TradeWinds data, that is the highest reading since the autumn of 2015.

The company attributed this result to higher spot rates and lower bunker prices.

Thirteen of the 21 very large LPG carriers (VLGCs) Dorian owns benefitted from higher spot rates as they were on voyage charter in the company’s Helios Pool.

The same applies to the four VLGCs it charters in.

Goodies for shareholders

The cash wall coming the company's way allows Dorian LPG to shower dividends on its shareholders, which include Hadjipateras himself as well as the Wellington Management Group, Blackrock, Kensico Capital Management and Dimensional Fund Advisors.

Dorian LPG already announced in late April it would pay out $1.00 per share in its eighth consecutive dividend payment.

“The company has returned nearly $225m to our shareholders during fiscal year 2023”, Hadjipateras said on Wednesday.

Dorian LPG has a market capitalisation of $962m in New York, compared with an estimated net fleet value of $1.26bn at the end of March.

Dorian has been betting on future growth with a quartet of modern dual-fuel vessels, either outright owned or chartered in on long-term periods of up to 10 years.