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Seaspan ( SSW), based in the Marshall Islands, owns and operates a fleet of container ships employed under long-term, fixed-rate charter contracts with some of the largest container-shipping companies in the world.

Its fleet consists of 61 container ships in operation and eight in various stages of completion and scheduled for delivery through March 2012. All of those yet to be delivered are already committed to fixed-rate charters of 12 years from the date of delivery.

Seaspan's CEO said two weeks ago, in conjunction with the company's fourth-quarter earnings release, that its fleet utilization rate is 99.7% and its strong cash flow allows it to raise its annual dividend to 75 cents per share.

The company's forward price-to-earnings ratio of 10.3 is equal to the median of its industry peers.

Per TheStreet, analysts give its shares seven "strong buy" and one "hold" rating. Those same analysts expect 2011 earnings of $1.53 per share, up from $1.12 last year, and that 2012 earnings will be flat to 2011 at $1.53 per share.

Deutsche Bank ( DB) upgraded its rating on Seaspan to "buy" from "hold" on March 25, citing fleet-growth opportunities. It raised its target price to $27 from $16.

Seaspan shares are up 44% this year and 82% over 12 months, giving it a market value of $1.1 billion. Its shares hit a 52-week high March 21.

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