Shipping Stocks: DryShips Swings to Loss

DryShips shares fall on news that the company suffered a $1.02 billion loss for the fourth quarter of 2008.
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Shipping stocks were mixed Wednesday, with


(DRYS) - Get Report

shares sinking after the company swung to a fourth-quarter loss.

DryShips reported early Wednesday that it had suffered a $1.02 billion loss, or $18.42 per share, for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2008, compared with net income of $194.4 million, or $5.35 per share, for the same period in 2007. Excluding charges and items, net income for the quarter was $23.5 million, or 43 cents per share. Analysts had expected EPS of 66 cents, according to Yahoo! Finance.

DryShips said that pending talks with banks regarding

loan covenants

-- a thorn in the side of many shippers -- it will have reclassified $1.8 billion in debt as short-term.

DryShips CEO George Economou said that despite the challenges his company faces given the economic downturn, he remains "cautiously optimistic." Investors, meanwhile, appeared less convinced. Shares were recently falling 11.1% to $4.91.


Genco Shipping was down 5.1% to $13.55.

Diana Shipping was down 0.6% to $12.70.

Eagle Bulk

(EGLE) - Get Report

was down 1.8% to $4.37.

Among the day's winners:

Horizon Lines was rising 7.6% to $3.83.

Excel Maritime was rising 0.9% to $4.62.

Star Bulk was up 2.6% to $2.36.

Teekay Corp. was up 1% to $15.77.

Frontline rose 0.2% to $20.02.

Seacor Holding rose 0.9% to $60.52.

Tidewater rose 2.3% to $38.90.

Kirby rose 1.2% to $26.11.