Diana Shipping CEO Discusses Q2 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Diana Shipping, Inc. ( DSX)

Q2 2011 Earnings Call

August 4, 2011 9:00 am ET

Executives

Edward Nebb – Head-Investor and Media Relations

Simeon P. Palios – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Anastasios C. Margaronis – President

Andreas Michalopoulos – Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Analysts

Gregory Lewis – Credit Suisse

Justin Yagerman – Deutsche Bank

Fotis Giannakoulis – Morgan Stanley

Scott Malat – Goldman Sachs

Salvatore Vitale – Sterne, Agee & Leach Inc.

Presentation

Operator

Greetings and welcome to the Diana Shipping Incorporated Second Quarter Conference Call and Webcast. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. A question-and-answer session will follow the formal presentation. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

It is now my pleasure to introduce your host, Edward Nebb, Investor Relations Advisor for Diana Shipping. Thank you Mr. Nebb, you may begin.

Edward Nebb

Great. Thanks, Diego, and thanks to all of you for joining us this morning for the Diana Shipping Incorporated 2011 second quarter conference call. The members of the Diana Shipping management team who are with us today include Mr. Simeon Palios, Chairman and CEO; Mr. Anastasios Margaronis, President; Mr. Andreas Michalopoulos, Chief Financial Officer; Mr. Ioannis Zafirakis, Executive Vice President and Secretary; and Ms. Maria Dede, Chief Accounting Officer.

Before management begins their remarks, let me briefly summarize the Safe Harbor notice, which you can see in its entirety in today's news release. Certain statements made during this conference call, which are not statements of historical facts are forward-looking statements pursuant to the Safe Harbor Provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act.

Such forward-looking statements are based on assumptions, expectations, projections, and beliefs as to future events that may not prove to be accurate. For a description of the risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause future results to differ materially from what is expressed or forecast in the forward-looking statements, please refer to the Company's filings with the SEC.

And now, let me turn the call over to Mr. Simeon Palios, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

Simeon P. Palios

Thanks, Ed. Good morning and thank you for joining us. The scenario for the dry bulk shipping market has continued to play out along the lines that we have discussed on previous conference calls. While demand today is stronger than during the worst of the economic downturn, it continues to lag behind the growth in supply. As a result time charter rates remain under pressure especially in Capesize area.

Across the market cycles, Diana Shipping has continued to follow strategies that have made the company to remain profitable, sound, and in a growth mode despite challenging industry conditions.

Our chartering policies promoted balance of time charter maturities and therefore, a (inaudible) and predictable revenue stream. Currently our (inaudible) revenue stays at approximately 97% in 2011 and approximately 58% in 2012. We believe that we have built strong relationships with the industries leading charters, making Diana Shipping a preferred partner in meeting their needs. Of the time charter contracts that we enter into since the start of the second quarter, three were with Cargill International and one with Hyundai Merchant Marine.

We have continued to maintain a focused balance sheet with high liquidity and minimal leverage. Our cash position at June 30, 2011 was nearly US$376 million or about US$30 million higher than year end 2010. Long-term debt including current portion was US$361 million compared to stockholders equity of US$1.16 billion.

Our strategies have provided us with a predictable revenue stream and a strong capital base in an uncertain industry cycle. As a result we are positioned to seize upon opportunities created in the current environment. Specifically, we have continued our program of gradually adding to our fleet as market positions permit us to apply our vessels at attractive prices.

Last month, we took delivery of the motor vessel Corona, renamed Arethusa, a 73,593 tons deadweight Panamax dry bulk carrier built in 2007, which we purchased for US$29.990 million. The delivery of the Arethusa, our fleet now consists of 24 dry bulk carriers as well as two new customers, new billings that are expected to be delivered during the first half of 2012.

Now, let me review some of the key aspects of our results for 2011 second quarter. Net income was US$27.7 million for the second quarter of 2011 compared to US$33.9 million a year ago. Time charter revenues was US$64.6 million compared to US$68.7 million for the same period last year.

The revenue comparison primarily reflected the decrease in time charter rates which averaged US$30,597 for the 2011 second quarter versus US$33,105 a year ago as well as increased all prior days. These vessels where partially offset by the revenues generated by the Alcmene, which was added to the fleet in November 2010.

We expect that the present industry environment goes primarily by the supply and demand imbalance will continue for the near-term. In such an environment we believe that our balance chartering approach, cash flow visibility, and solid capital position will enable the company to operate from a position of strength.

With that I’ll now turn the call over to our President, Anastasios Margaronis, for a prospective on industry conditions. We will then followed by our Chief Financial Officer, Andreas Michalopoulos, who will provide a financial overview. Thank you.

Anastasios C. Margaronis

Thank you, Simon, and welcome to all who have joined us in this mid-summer conference call. We hope not to disappoint you too much with more depressing news about the dry bulk market. By now you should have realized that the (inaudible) nature of the shipping industry, which not only creates a scary financial turbulence, but also presents a tremendous investment opportunities for the two financial observers of the industry.

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