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Dry Bulk Stocks in 2011: Headlines Moving the Market

April 14: Paragon's Box Ships Sinks in Debut

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The second containership company to begin selling shares to the public in New York this year sank below its offer price when it debuted in trading April 14.

Called Box Ships (TEU), the company is based in Athens, and it was founded by the founder of the small dry-bulk shipping concern, Paragon Shipping (PRGN), which is also listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

The founder's name is Michael Bodouroglou. Like other shipping magnates -- George Economou of DryShips (DRYS - Get Report), Peter Georgiopoulos of Genco (GNK - Get Report) and General Maritime (GMR) -- Bodouroglou has his hands in multiple shipping companies operating multiple vessel categories. In January, Diana Shipping (DSX - Get Report) -- founded by Simeon Palios -- also spun out a containership business, Diana Containerships (DCIX).

On April 14, Box Ships' stock finished the regular session at $11.05. The company priced 11 million shares at $12 a share.

Diana Containerships, meanwhile, finished at $13 on April 14. It hasn't performed well since its debut, either, having started trading at $14 in January. (A different kind of transportation company had a better IPO experience on Thursday: Zipcar (ZIP) priced at $18, above its expected range, and then soared during first-day trading to $28.)

For the uninitiated, dry-bulk ships haul raw materials such as iron ore or grain or coal. Containerships carry finished goods, stuff loaded high in their holds and on their decks inside those big steel boxes that can become semi trailers or railroad cars.

Thus, the containership business is closely linked to the health of the world's consumer economies, especially the U.S. and Europe. Dry bulk shipping is much more linked to the health of manufacturing and heavy industry.

One of the vicious ironies of the dry-bulk shipping business right now is that it hasn't been able to participate -- not since the end of last year, at least -- in an extraordinary boom in commodities driven in large part by China's continued hunger for raw materials to feed its explosively growing economy. That's because of a heinous glut: there are simply too many dry bulk ships either on the water or expected for delivery this year for current demand to soak up.

In light of all this, click on for a slideshow of all the major stories that have moved the dry-bulk sector this year...
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