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Star Bulk Carriers CEO Discusses Q3 2010 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Before we begin, I kindly ask you to take a moment to read the Safe Harbor statement on slide number 2 of the presentation.

While you do that, and before we commence the earnings presentation, I would like to take the time and use this introduction to make a few brief points about Star Bulk. Star Bulk remains financially strong, with modest leverage, substantial charter coverage, ample liquidity, positive cash flows, and pays meaningful dividends. We have an excellent relationship with our lenders, and we are one of the first companies that met its original loan covenants.

The reduction of our operating cost campaign continues to show tangible results quarter after quarter. These reductions have been achieved while the quality of our operation was enhanced, and our utilization rate has substantially increased. Here I should mention that this quarter's G&A increase has a one-off expense related to professional fees.

We have been successful leveraging management's experience in the shipping industry over the past two years as the company has been able to meet the challenges in both the credit and dry bulk market and produce results that have strengthened the company.

Apart from operating expenses reduction, highlights over the past two years include our Capesize new building, both of them actually, which were contracted at the lowest price levels prevalent since 2004, expanded and renewed our fleet through the sale of two of our oldest vessels, and the acquisition of three modern Capesize vessels. All of these were achieved without diluting our shareholders.

Also, we repaid organically a major portion of our debt. We have been in full compliance with our original loan covenants. We have monetized a substantial portion of our commercial claims, and the in house management continues to produce impressive results. Finally, we are also pleased to declare our six consecutive quarterly dividend for the third quarter of 2010 of $0.05 per share.

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