“We remain committed to providing our shareholders with dividends and in keeping with that policy our Board has declared a first quarter dividend payment of $0.375 per share.”
Operating income for the three months ended March 31, 2011 was $22.9 million including the $18.7 million gain from the Dry Bulk transaction. Excluding the gain, Operating Income was $4.1 million as compared to $6.9 million for the comparable period in 2010 which excludes the gain from the sale of the vessel. The Company’s Gross Voyage Profit, which represents the operating results of its five segments, decreased from $14.2 million in the 2010 first quarter to $10.0 million in this reporting quarter. The Company’s U.S. Flag Time Charter segment results were lower primarily due to the lower supplemental cargo volumes. The 2010 first quarter supplemental cargo volumes were above historical levels. The International Flag Time Charter segment results were higher in the first quarter of 2011 primarily attributable to the operation of its three Handysize vessels, which began service during the quarter, partially offset by lower results from its Indonesian contract. The results in the first quarter of 2011 of the Contract of Affreightment segment were at comparable levels to those of the 2010 first quarter. The Company’s Rail Ferry segment reported higher results for the quarter as compared to the first quarter of 2010. Northbound cargo volumes improved, primarily due to the carriage of seasonal cargoes, while southbound cargoes were at maximum capacity. Additionally, with the lower asset values, as a result of the 2010 impairment charge, depreciation on the vessels operating in this segment was lower by approximately $500,000. The Company’s other segment, consisting mainly of chartering brokerage and agency services, had higher results in this first quarter of 2011 as compared to the 2010 first quarter primarily due to an increase in chartering brokerage income. Partially offsetting the drop in Gross Voyage Profit results of the Company’s operating segment was slightly lower administrative and general expenses.