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Excel Maritime Stock Slides

(Excel earnings story updated from Monday, Feb. 28.)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Dry-bulk shipper Excel Maritime (EXM) appeared to meet Wall Street estimates for its fourth quarter, but its stock was sliding Tuesday morning.

The company also tried to reassure investors that an industry-wide glut of newly delivered dry-bulk vessels, which has served to depress spot-market shipping rates so far this year, wouldn't sting its bottom line.

"While we expect that deliveries of new vessels in 2011 will cause some volatility in freight rates, we remain cautiously optimistic in the dry bulk market outlook based on emerging markets being the principal drivers of growth," said Excel's Chief Financial Officer Pavlos Kanellopoulos in a prepared statement.

Early in Tuesday's trading session on the New York Stock Exchange, Excel shares were changing hands at $5.13, down 9 cents, or 1.7%. The stock has lost about 7% since Jan. 1, though it has rallied off its 52-week low of $4.51, set just in early February.

Excel said its adjusted earnings came to $12 million, or 14 cents a share, in the fourth quarter, equaling the consensus forecast of eight analysts. The range of estimates, though, was all over the map, stretching from a low of 2 cents to a high of 18 cents.

The company said its adjusted profit figure excluded several items, including a $10.8 million gain from derivatives holdings and the amortization of time charters that are the legacy of an acquisition it made back in 2008. The company's similarly adjusted 2009 fourth-quarter earnings were $4 million, or 5 cents a share, Excel said.

All in, Excel's net income for the final period of 2010 was $63.6 million, or 76 cents per share.

Revenue in the fourth quarter totaled $107 million, ahead of the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters for revenue of $104.9 million.
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