Goldman analysts initiated coverage of the dry-bulk shipper recently with a buy rating and $17 price target, which represents a 34.6% upside to Diana's closing price the day prior of $12.63.
Goldman's bullish rating cited the fact 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 managed 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.Dry-bulk shipping peer FreeSeas (FREE) saw its shares gain 3.2% Wednesday. 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) shares were 0.6% higher Wednesday. Analysts from Cantor Fitzgerald maintained a buy rating on Paragon but recently lowered their price target on the stock by $1 to $5. "We now look for Paragon to report 2010 earnings per share of 39 cents (from 33 cents) and [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization] of $65 million (from $67 million)," the equities research firm noted. "For 2011, we look for PRGN to generate EPS of 40 cents and EBITDA of $70 million. We note that our 2011 estimates assume the company's open vessels achieve an average daily rate of $18,000 for the Handymaxes." Like FreaSeas, Euroseas (ESEA) swung to a quarterly loss. The shipper posted lower revenue and hedging benefits, and said rates continued to soften. Euroseas posted a smaller-than-expected loss but revenue came in shy of expectations. The drybulk carrier saw its shares bid 1.8% lower on Wednesday. -- Written by Miriam Marcus Reimer in New York.
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