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TheStreet Open House

Diana Shipping Cruises on Buy Rating

ATHENS, Greece ( TheStreet) -- Diana Shipping (DSX) was among the New York Stock Exchange's biggest gainers Tuesday, thanks to a healthy buy rating from Goldman Sachs (GS).

Diana Shipping shares soared 6.2% in afternoon trading amid heavy volume. More than 2.3 million shares were in play with just over two hours left in the trading session, compared with their average daily trading volume of just 717,000 shares.

Analysts from Goldman Sachs initiated coverage of the dry-bulk shipper with a buy rating and $17 price target, which represents a 34.6% upside to Diana's closing price Tuesday of $12.63.

Goldman's bullish rating cited that 60% of Diana's fleet is chartered out through at least the second half of 2012. The firm estimated that Diana has $1 billion in cash and debt capacity to take advantage of expected vessel acquisition opportunities. Goldman also likes Diana's disciplined management team.

Diana recently posted third-quarter net income of $33.8 million earlier this month, up 17.8% from a profit of $28.7 million in the third quarter of 2009.

Rival DryShips (DRYS) reported earnings of 18 cents per share, or $49 million. Excluding one-time items the income number would have come in at $99 million, or 38 cents per share, easily besting the consensus Wall Street estimate of 25 cents per share.

Quarterly revenue inched higher by 1.4% to $225.2 million from a year ago, also beating expectations.



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