Tsakos Energy Navigation posted its best results in 15 years, but it was still not enough to fully satisfy investors on Tuesday.

The Greek tanker and gas carrier owner reported a $51.3m profit for the third quarter — a 300% increase from the $25m loss recorded for the same period last year and backed by $132m in revenue.

Board chairman Efstratios Arapoglou said the performance was the company’s second-best ever, trailing only the fourth quarter of 2007’s $52m profit.

“This is a great result,” he said on the earnings call.

“It proves once again the strategy ... protects us in bad times but fully responds in good times and allows us to serve our obligations to pay dividends and generate cash for new business.”

For the quarter, the company’s vessel utilisation hit 94.3%, with five ships drydocked in the third quarter. The fleet earned an average time charter equivalent rate of $32,058 per day — more than doubling year-over-year.

The results were enough to have Tsakos Energy Navigation double its dividend to $0.15 to be paid next month, but shares still dropped by 11.9% — or $2.38 — on Tuesday before closing at $17.71.

Moving forward

On the call, chief operations officer George Saroglou said Tsakos Energy Navigation expects oil demand to increase by 1.6m barrels per day next year, with growth coming from developing economies and non-Opec production set to rise.

He said the low orderbook and the incoming environmental regulations would keep a lid on fleet growth — and was another positive for the tanker market in the coming quarters.

He suggested ship sales could be on the way, following a separate announcement on Tuesday that Tsakos Energy Navigation would be building new shuttle tankers in South Korea for TotalEnergies.

The company has the ability to construct up to three of the ships against five to 15-year contracts and join four aframaxes in the company’s order backlog.

“Management is actively exploring opportunities to divest some of its earlier-generation vessels and replace them with more modern eco-friendly greener vessels,” Saroglou said.

According to its fleet list, Tsakos Energy Navigation owns several tankers older than 15 years, including all six of its MR tankers.