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DryShips Tops Views; Stock Jumps

Stocks in this article: DRYS FREE PRGN DSX ESEA

Updated to include DryShips' financial results

ATHENS, Greece ( TheStreet) -- DryShips (DRYS) may have righted a ship that seemed to be teetering only a few quarters ago.

The dry-bulk shipper and deepwater drill-ship operator reported earnings of 18 cents a share, or $49 million. Excluding items, though, the income number would have come $99 million, or 38 cents, which easily bested the consensus Wall Street estimate of 25 cents a share.

Investors bid up DryShips shares by 7% in aftermarket trading to $5.57.

Quarterly revenue inched higher by 1.4% to $225.2 million from a year ago, but that's better than the $217 millon analysts were expecting, on average.

The company finally made good this fall on promises regarding its long-floundering drilling business, inking contracts on several vessels that had still required financing.

DryShips CEO George Economou issued a rosy outlook on that score as well, saying in a prepared statement, "The ultra deepwater market has turned a corner in the last couple of months and we believe that current enquiry from operators matches or may even exceed the supply available in 2011."

During the regular session, FreeSeas (FREE) shares fell 4.8% after the operator of drybulk carriers posted a net loss of $9.5 million, or $1.51 per share, for the third quarter, compared with a profit of $465,000, or 8 cents per share, in the year-earlier period.

FreeSeas' revenue pushed up 5.3% to $13.8 million.

Paragon Shipping (PRGN) closed the day 0.8% lower following unfavorable broker action.

Analysts from Cantor Fitzgerald maintained a buy rating on Paragon but lowered their price target on the stock by $1 to $5.

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