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We expressly disclaim any obligation to update or revise any of these forward looking statements whether because of future events, new information, a change in our views or our expectations or otherwise. We make no prediction or statement about the performance of our common shares.We will now begin our presentation. Please refer to the live webcast presentation slide as provided on our website. In addition, you will find details regarding our Q1 results and our earnings release filed yesterday after market close. Please turn to slide three of our webcast presentation. During the quarter we earned $20 million in normalized net earnings compared to $19 million for 2009. The increase is due to deliver of 10 additional vessels to bring our operating fleet to 45 vessels this quarter compared to 35 at the end of Q1 last year. This resulted in 3,797 operating days this quarter versus 3,149 for Q1 of last year. Our normalized diluted EPS for the quarter was $0.20. Our normalized converted EPS for the quarter was $0.24. This compares to $0.25 for Q1 last year. I will discuss in further details our EPS and methodology of calculation later on in the presentation. We generated $40 million in cash available for distribution, a 16% or $5.6 million increase from Q1 of last year. We declared 10-10 dividend per share for Q1 2010 which will be paid on May 18, 2010. This will result in a total of $6.59 per share in cumulative dividends since our IPO in August 2005. I will now pass the call over to Gerry who will provide details on our highlights for the quarter. Gerry Wang
Please turn to slide four. First, we’re pleased to announce the completion of transaction by one of our wholly owned subsidiary companies for the sale and leaseback of one of our previously unencumbered 13,100 TEU vessels to an affiliate of a leading public traded Chinese bank. This transaction demonstrates our continued success in funding our contracted fleet growth and represents about $150 million at up to 80% of the anticipated original vessel deliver costs of about $180 million. Seaspan will also maintain operational and commissional control of the vessel. We also retain the right and the flexibility to make a partial or full repayment of the lease post-delivery. This will provide us with the ability to essentially cancel the transaction and reacquire the ship post-delivery subject to certain fees. We would like to highlight that this transaction is consistent with our stated goal of enhancing our capital structure while minimizing dilution to our shareholders. We’re pleased with our progress in this regard.
During Q1 we also continued to grow our fleet and achieve a milestone with the delivery of the COSCO Japan to COSCO Container Lines. This ship is the first of 8,500 TEU vessels to be delivered to COSCO and has been introduced into the Asia/Europe trade route. The delivery of the COSCO Japan marks the beginning of a total of 16 large vessels to be delivered to COSCO over approximately the next two years. We look forward to continuing to meet the needs of the Chinese and other Asian liner measures as we fully solidify our position as a valued business partner in this important region.During Q1 2010 we accepted delivery of three vessels in total. The COSCO Japan as just mentioned, the 2,500 TEU vessel on charter to K-Line and the 5,100 TEU vessel on charter to MOL. The vessel delivery to K-Line is the first of two 2,500 TEU sister vessels and the first of a total of seven vessels to be chartered by Seaspan to K-Line. The vessel delivery to MOL was the last of four Seaspan vessels on charter to MOL all of which are subject to 12 year contracts. We’re pleased to mark the completion of the significant new build in project for MOL. We’re proud to be one of the first non-Japanese owners to provide vessels to the major Japanese line operators for long term charters, which allowed us to further diversify our customer base. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com