Such forward-looking statements are based on assumptions, expectations, projections, intentions 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, please refer to the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.And now with that, let me turn the call over to Mr. Simeon Palios, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Diana Shipping Inc. Simeon Palios Thanks, Ed. Good morning and thank you for joining us. Diana Shipping delivered respectable financial performance during the 2011 third quarter, despite operating in a dry bulk marketplace and the economic cycle that continue to be extremely challenging. While the overall market environment remains unsettled, we believe that the outlook for the balance of this year and into 2012 is for continue pressure on rates. In this difficult environment, shareholders should be rest assured that we will continue to follow our time tested strategies, managing our chartering operations in a balanced and conservative manner, prudently expanding our fleet and our revenue generating capacity, and maintaining a sound balance sheet. We continued to pursue chartering policies that promote a balance of time charter maturities and sustain a predictable revenue stream. Currently, our fixed revenue days are 100% in 2011 and 79% in 2012. Significantly during the first quarter we enter into time charter agreements for our two Newcastlemax newbuildings, the m/v Los Angeles and the m/v Philadelphia through 2016. Last week, we announced a further expansion of our fleet with an agreement to purchase the MV Vathy, a 2010 built Panamax dry bulk carrier of 81,297 tonnes deadweight for a price of US$32.25 million. The vessel to be renamed Leto is expected to be delivered to the company by the sellers during the first quarter of 2012. With this new acquisition, as well as our two Newcastlemax newbuildings our fleet would consist of 27 dry bulk carriers.
We have continued to emphasize a focused balance year with strong liquidity and minimal leverage. Our cash position at December 30, 2011 was in excess of US$395 million or about US$50 million higher than at year end 2010.Long-term debt including current portion was US$374.8 million, compared to stockholders equity of US$1.19 billion. This solid financial position helps to ensure stability in a volatile market and this also a source of support for continue growth initiative. Today, we also announced the Board of Directors has authorized a new share repurchase program for up to US$100 million of the company’s common shares which maybe repurchased from time to time until December 31, 2012. The new authorization replaces the company’s previous share repurchase program which was scheduled to expire on December 31, 2011. The company has not repurchased any shares under the prior buyback authorization. Now, let me review some of the key aspects of our results for the 2011 third quarter. Net income was US$26.4 million for the third quarter of 2011, compared to US$33.8 million a year ago. Time charter revenues were US$64.2 million, compared to US$71.6 million for the same period last year. The revenue comparison primarily reflected the consolidation of Diana Containerships Inc. and the decrease in time charter rates which averaged US$27,957 for the 2011 third quarter versus US$31,593 a year ago, partially offset by the addition to the fleet of the Alcmene in November 2010 and the Arethusa in July 2011. Our expectation is that the present challenge in industry environment caused primarily by the supply/demand imbalance will continue for the near-term. In such an environment we believe that our balance chartering approach, proven operations and solid capital position will deliver predictable cash flow and permit us to continue our efforts to gradually and opportunistically expand our fleet through vessels acquisitions. With that, I would now turn the call over to our President, Stacy Margaronis for a perspective on industry conditions. We will then be followed by our Chief Financial Officer, Andreas Michalopoulos, who will provide a financial overview. Thank you. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com