Star Bulk Carriers' CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Star Bulk Carriers Corp. ( SBLK)

Q4 2011 Earnings Call

February 16, 2012 8:30 am ET

Executives

Spyros Capralos – President and Chief Executive Officer

Simos Spyrou – Chief Financial Officer

Analysts

James Woods – FBR Capital Markets

Michael S. Pak – Clarkson Capital Markets

Presentation

Operator

Thank you for standing by, ladies and gentlemen. And welcome to the Star Bulk Conference Call on the Fourth Quarter and Year End 2011 Financial Results. We have with us Mr. Spyros Capralos, President and Chief Executive Officer; and Mr. Simos Spyrou, Chief Financial Officer of the company. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. (Operator Instructions) I must advise you, this conference is being recorded today Thursday, February 16, 2012.

We now pass the floor to one of your speakers today, Mr. Spyros Capralos. Please go ahead, sir.

Spyros Capralos

Thank you, operator. I’m Spyros Capralos, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Star Bulk Carriers. And I would like to welcome you to the Star Bulk Carriers’ fourth quarter and year-end 2011 financial results conference call. Along with me today to discuss our financial results is our CFO, Mr. Simos Spyrou.

Before we begin, I kindly ask you to take a moment to read the safe harbor statement on the slide number 2, of our presentation. Let us now turn to slide number three, to first discuss our fourth quarter 2011 financial highlights. In the fourth quarter, gross revenues amounted to $26.9 million posting a 16% reduction versus the same period of 2010. General and administrative expenses were reduced by 61% to $2.4 million in Q4 2011 versus $6.3 million in Q4 2010 mainly due to lower stock-based compensation expenses of $3.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to the same period in 2010.

Even if we exclude the non-cash amortization of stock-based compensation expenses, G&A expenses were reduced by 14% from $2.8 million to $2.4 million. Our net loss for the fourth quarter 2011 amounted to $69.3 million, which includes a $62 million impairment loss related to two of our Capesize vessels namely Star Sigma and Star Ypsilon, the two oldest vessels in our fleet both built in 1991.

Excluding non-cash items, our net loss for the fourth quarter amounted to $3.1 million. Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter 2011 was $12.5 million, while our average daily operating expenses were $6,028 per vessel. In the fourth quarter 2011, the time charter equivalent was $19,561 per day.

The adjusted net loss of $3.1 million represents a $0.04 loss per share, basic and diluted, which is slightly better than analyst consensus of $0.05 loss according to Bloomberg.

Please turn now to slide four, to discuss our year-end December 31, 2011 financial highlights. Gross revenues for the year amounted to $105.2 million versus $121 million in 2010, a reduction of 15%. Our general and administrative expenses for 2011 amounted to $12.5 million versus $15.4 million in 2010, a reduction by a 19%. Even if we exclude the non-recurring severance payments and the non-cash amortization of stock-based compensation, G&A expenses in 2011 amounted to $8.3 million versus $8.9 million in 2010, posting a 7% reduction.

2011 net loss amounted to $68.9 million, again this figure includes a $62 million non-cash impairment loss in the fourth quarter of 2011 for the two Capesize vessels. Excluding non-cash items, our adjusted net loss for the full year 2011 amounted to $1.1 million, which represents a loss of $0.02 per share.

Adjusted EBITDA for full year 2011 was $53.4 million, while average daily operating expenses were $5,643 per vessel. The time charter equivalent for the full year of 2011 was 19,989 per day verus 26,859 in 2010.

Please turn now to slide five, to briefly discuss some important company highlights. We recently announced that the vessel Star Sigma, which was time chartered to Pacific Bulk Shipping Ltd. of Hong Kong until October 2013 at a gross daily rate of 38,000 was readily available to Star Bulk Carriers.

Pacific Bulk has paid us a lump sum of $5.7 million in cash for the early delivery of this vessel. In addition to the lump sum payment, Pacific Bulk, supplied Star Sigma with 1,027 metric tons of fuel, valued approximately at $700,000. Following its delivery to us, the Star Sigma was employed in the spot market under a four year charter at a gross daily time charter equivalent rate of approximately 29,400, and is expected to complete its voyage, end March 2012.

Following the usual delivery, an agreement with Pacific Bulk Shipping, we have no legacy charters outstanding in our fleet employment list. While our long-term charters are with first class counter parties. Therefore, we feel no longer subject to material counter party risk regarding the fixed portion of our revenues.

Furthermore, the inevitable disconnect between the static book values dictated by U.S. GAAP rules and the volatile market conditions of our ships has led to the adjustment of the Star Sigma’s and Star Ypsilon’s book value, which resulted in a non-cash impairment loss of $62 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. The company’s cash flow impairment of its long-lived assets, whenever or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of the assets may not be recoverable.

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