NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Genco Shipping & Trading (GNK) surpassed Wall Street targets by a modest margin in an otherwise ho-hum third quarter report.

Which, said Jonathan Chappell, JPMorgan's shipping analyst, is probably a good thing, given the market's anxious condition of late, which has seen high-beta dry-bulk shares fall sharply along with commodities-related names all over the world, from mining conglomerates to steel producers.

Genco, based in New York but run by the Greek magnate Peter Georgiopoulos, said it earned $34.3 million, or $1.10 a share, in the just-ended quarter, beating by 9 cents the consensus estimate provided by 13 research analysts.

Revenue came to $92.9 million, also surpassing the Wall Street forecast, which had pegged a top line of about $91 million.

Year-over-year comparisons remain difficult. In the third quarter of 2008, before the shipping business entered a historic perfect storm in the form of the financial crisis and recession, Genco earned $63 million, or $2.00 a share, on revenue of $107.6 million.

Genco's beat likely derived from lower-than-expected operating costs and interest expense, Chappell said, though both figures increased compared to a year ago, when the company operated fewer ships.

During the quarter, the company took delivery of two capesize-class ships, the biggest dry-bulk haulers in existence. Many market participants worry that so many such newbuildings are currently slated for delivery this year and next that a glut may very well develop, busting shipping rates once again.

Genco has about 75% of its fleet locked into long-term contracts for the rest of 2009. For 2010, though, the portion drops to 45%. Chappell noted, however, that Genco will likely grow more conservative in the coming months, moving 50% or more of its fleet into long-term charters for 2010.

In after-hours trading Wednesday, Genco shares continued to slide after losing 5.3% in the regular session. The stock was recently changing hands at $18.95, down 2 cents from its official Wednesday close.

On Monday, DryShips ( DRYS), the first Greek dry bulk concern to go public in 2005 and the first to report third-quarter results this earnings season, also surpassed expectations and reported a "clean quarter," in the words of one shipping-stock investor.

-- Written by Scott Eden in New York

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Scott Eden has covered business -- both large and small -- for more than a decade. Prior to joining TheStreet.com, he worked as a features reporter for Dealmaker and Trader Monthly magazines. Before that, he wrote for the Chicago Reader, that city's weekly paper. Early in his career, he was a staff reporter at the Dow Jones News Service. His reporting has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Men's Journal, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, and the Believer magazine, among other publications. He's also the author of Touchdown Jesus (Simon & Schuster, 2005), a nonfiction book about Notre Dame football fans and the business and politics of big-time college sports. He has degrees from Notre Dame and Washington University in St. Louis.

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