Shipper StealthGas 2Q Profit Falls 31 Percent

NEW YORK (AP) ¿ StealthGas Inc., a Greek ship owner serving the liquefied petroleum gas market, said Thursday its second-quarter profit fell 31 percent as ships had more idle days and lower charter rates.

The company said it earned $6.5 million, or 29 cents per share, in the quarter ended June 30, compared with $9.4 million or 42 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company said that excluding an $800,000 loss on sale of a ship, it would have earned $7.3 million, or 33 cents per share.

Analysts, who typically exclude one-time items from their forecasts, expected the company to earn 28 cents per share, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

Revenue fell 5 percent to $27.1 million. Analysts expected $30.3 million.

The company said it had a $500,000 cash loss and a $3.2 million unrealized non-cash gain on interest rate swap arrangements and foreign currency hedging deals. It had unrealized non-cash gains of $1.8 million a year ago.

StealthGas said excluding non-cash gains from hedging transactions and the loss on the ship sale, it earned $4.1 million, or 18 cents per share, compared with $7.6 million, or 35 cents per share, a year ago.

Voyage and operating expenses rose from a year ago due to increased spot voyage work in which the company is responsible for expenses including fuel, port and canal fees.

Shares of StealthGas lost 1 cent to $4.94 in morning trading.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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