Diana Shipping's CEO Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Diana Shipping Inc. (DSX)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

August 2, 2012 9:00 a.m. ET

Executives

Edward Nebb - Investor Relations, Comm-Counsellors, LLC

Simeon Palios - Chief Executive Officer

Anastassis Margaronis - President

Andreas Michalopoulos - Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Analysts

Michael Webber - Wells Fargo Securities

Joshua Katzeff - Deutsche Bank

Brandon Oglenski - Barclays Capital

Presentation

Operator

Greetings and welcome to Diana Shipping Incorporated Second Quarter 2012 Conference Call and Webcast. At this time all participants are in a listen-only mode. A brief 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. Sir, you may begin.

Edward Nebb

Thank you, Dan, and welcome everyone and welcome to the Diana Shipping Inc. 2012 second quarter conference call. The members of the Diana Shipping management team who are with us today include Mr. Simeon Palios, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; Mr. Anastassis 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. Certain statements made during this conference call which are not statements of historical fact 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, 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 materially from the forward-looking statements, please refer to the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

And with that, let me turn the call over to Mr. Simeon Palios, Chairman and CEO.

Simeon Palios

Thank you, Ed. Good morning and thank you for joining us today. Diana Shipping Inc. continued to operate in a steady and prudent manner despite the challenging conditions that have prevailed in our industry for some time. The company delivered reliable revenues and profits, continued to expand our fleet and maintain a sound capital structure.

During the quarter we announced the delivery of the newly built Philadelphia, a Newcastlemax dry bulk carrier that was contracted in 2010. In addition, in March 2012, we agreed to purchase the Melia, a Panamax dry bulk carrier. Built in 2005, it will join our fleet in May 2012. Just last week we agreed to acquire a new-building Post-Panamax dry built by Tsuneishi Group (Zhoushan) Shipbuilding Inc. The vessel, to be named Amphitrite, is expected to be delivered to the company later this month.

With the delivery of the Amphitrite, we will operate a total of 29 dry bulk carriers. We also have 2 Ice Class Panamax vessels under construction, which would bring the vessels of our fleet to 31 vessels. Considering that we own 21 vessels at the commenced our carrier and fleet investment strategy in 2008, this represents significant progress in the growth of our fleet. We continue to manage our fleet in a responsible manner that promotes a balance of time-charter maturities and produces a predictable revenue stream.

Currently, our fixed revenue days are 69% for 2012. The vast majority of our vessels are chartered for periods ranging from 2013 through 2015 and beyond. We continue to enjoy excellent relationships with many of the industry’s strongest and most respected charterers.

Now let me briefly summarize our financial performance for the second quarter of 2012. Net income to Diana Shipping Inc. was US$17.4 million for the 2012 second quarter compared to US$27.7 million a year ago. Time charter revenues for the latest quarter totaled US$57.6 million versus US$64.6 million in the second quarter of last year. Time charter rates averaged US$22,256 for the 2012 second quarter compared with US$30,597 in the same period of 2011.

We continue to have one of the strongest balance sheet in our industry. Our cash position at June 30, 2012 was in excess of US$451 million. The company continues to have solid access to credit. We drew down US$34.65 million on our line with China Exim Bank in connection with the purchase of the Philadelphia and in total drew down US$10,325 million from an increased Nordea Bank term loan facility for the Melia.

We continue to operate with a very manageable degree of leverage. Long-term debt including current portion and net of financial charges was US$461 million at June 30, 2012, compared to stockholder’s equity of $1.2 billion. Our solid financial position helps to ensure stability in a volatile market and this also assures of support for continued growth initiatives.

As the dry bulk shipping industry continues to face a challenging operating environment, we will apply our consistent, prudent strategies to deliver predictable revenues and profitability. We will continue our program of selectively and gradually adding to our fleet as market conditions permit as to acquire vessels at attractive prices. We will operate our fleet according to balanced and prudent chartering policies that promote a predictable revenue stream and enable us to sustain profitable operations. And we will continue to manage our balance sheet to provide financial flexibility, provide the capacity to support growth and maintain an acceptable degree of leverage.

With that, I will now turn the call over to our President, Stacey Margaronis, for a perspective on industrial conditions. He will then be followed by our Chief Financial Officer, Andreas Michalopoulos, who will provide a financial overview. Thank you.

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