Diana Shipping Inc. Reports Financial Results for the First Quarter Ended March 31, 2012
Announces Delivery of the Panamax Dry Bulk Carrier M/V Melia and Commencement of Time Charter Contract

ATHENS, Greece, May 3, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Diana Shipping Inc. (NYSE:DSX), a global shipping company specializing in the ownership and operation of dry bulk vessels, today reported net income of $20.0 million for the first quarter of 2012, compared to net income of $33.1 million reported in the first quarter of 2011.

Time charter revenues were $57.6 million for the first quarter of 2012, compared to $69.4 million for the same period of 2011, mainly due to reduced time charter rates. The decrease in time charter revenues was partly offset by revenues derived from the increase in ownership days resulting from the addition to the Company's fleet of the vessels Arethusa, Leto and Los Angeles, delivered in July 2011, January and February 2012, respectively.

Separately, the Company also announced that on May 1, 2012 it took delivery of the m/v "Melia", (formerly "Mining Star"), a 2005 built Panamax dry bulk carrier of 76,225 dwt that the Company entered into an agreement to purchase in March 2012. As previously announced, the m/v "Melia" is chartered to STX Panocean Co., Ltd., Seoul at a gross rate of US$10,900 per day, minus a 5% commission paid to third parties, for a period of minimum eleven (11) months to maximum fourteen (14) months. The charter commenced yesterday. This employment is anticipated to generate approximately US$3.6 million of gross revenue for the minimum scheduled period of the charter.

Including the newly-delivered m/v "Melia", Diana Shipping Inc.'s fleet currently consists of 27 dry bulk carriers (17 Panamax, 1 Post-Panamax, 8 Capesize and 1 Newcastlemax), as well as 1 new building Newcastlemax vessel expected to be delivered to the Company during the second quarter of 2012 and 2 new building Ice Class Panamax vessels expected to be delivered to the Company during the fourth quarter of 2013. As of today, the combined carrying capacity of our current fleet, excluding the three vessels not yet delivered, is approximately 3.0 million dwt with a weighted average age of 6.1 years. A table describing the current Diana Shipping Inc. fleet can be found on the Company's website, www.dianashippinginc.com. Information contained on the Company's website does not constitute a part of this press release.

Fleet Employment Profile (As of May 3, 2012)
Currently Diana's fleet is employed as follows:
Sister Ships*Gross Rate (USD Per Day)Com**ChartererDelivery Date to ChartererRedelivery Date to Owners***Notes
Panamax Bulk Carriers
CORONIS C $24,000 5.00% Siba Ships Asia Pte. Ltd. 6-Apr-10 12-Mar-12
2006 74,381 $10,600 5.00% EDF Trading Limited,
12-Mar-12 27-Nov-13 - 27-Jun-14
ERATO C $12,200 5.00% Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., Ltd., Seoul, South Korea 26-Nov-11 26-Dec-12 - 10-Apr-13
2004 74,444
ARETHUSA B $13,250 5.00% Cargill International S.A., Geneva 8-Jul-11 24-May-12 - 23-Aug-12
2007 73,593
NAIAS B $19,750 5.00% J. Aron & Company, New York 24-Sep-10 24-Aug-12 - 24-Oct-12
2006 73,546
CLIO B $25,000 5.00% Daelim Corporation, Seoul 8-May-10 22-Feb-12
$10,750 5.00% Cargill International S.A., Geneva 22-Feb-12 22-Aug-13 - 22-Feb-14
2005 73,691
CALIPSO B $12,250 5.00% Louis Dreyfus Commodities Suisse S.A., Geneva 11-Oct-11 11-Aug-13 - 11-Dec-13
2005 73,691
PROTEFS B $11,750 4.75% Cargill International S.A., Geneva 6-Aug-11 6-Jul-12 - 6-Oct-12
2004 73,630
THETIS B $13,750 5.00% Cargill International S.A., Geneva 23-Feb-11 28-Jan-12
$10,500 5.00% EDF Trading Limited, London 22-Feb-12 22-Aug-13 - 22-Jun-14
2004 73,583
DIONE A $20,500 5.00% Louis Dreyfus Commodities Suisse S.A., Geneva 26-Sep-10 26-Jul-12 - 26-Nov-12
2001 75,172
10  DANAE A $15,600 5.00% Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., Ltd., Seoul, South Korea 18-Apr-11 18-Mar-13 - 18-May-13
2001 75,106
11  OCEANIS A $19,750 5.00% China National Chartering Co. Ltd. (Sinochart BJ), Beijing 17-Sep-10 17-Aug-12 - 1-Nov-12
2001 75,211
12  TRITON A $19,500 4.75% Resource Marine Pte., Ltd, Singapore 11-Dec-10 11-Nov-13 - 11-Feb-14
2001 75,336
13  ALCYON A $34,500 4.75% Cargill International S.A., Geneva 21-Feb-08 21-Nov-12 - 21-Feb-13
2001 75,247
14  NIREFS A $12,250 5.00% Morgan Stanley Capital Group Inc. 18-Dec-11 18-Jan-13 - 18-Apr-13
2001 75,311
15  MELIA G $10,900 5.00% STX Panocean Co., Ltd., Seoul 2-May-12 2-Apr-13 - 2-Jul-13
2005 76,225
16  MELITE G $16,500 5.00% Cargill International S.A., Geneva 1-Feb-11 1-Jan-13 - 1-Mar-13
2004 76,436
17  LETO $12,900 5.00% EDF Trading Limited, London 17-Jan-12 17-Jan-14 - 17-Nov-14
2010 81,297
Post-Panamax Bulk Carrier
18  ALCMENE $20,250 5.00% Cargill International S.A., Geneva 20-Nov-10 5-Oct-12 - 4-Jan-13
2010 93,193
Capesize Bulk Carriers
19  NORFOLK $74,750 3.75% Corus UK Limited 12-Feb-08 12-Jan-13 - 12-Mar-13 5
2002 164,218
20  ALIKI $26,500 5.00% Minmetals Logistics Group Co. Ltd., Beijing 1-Mar-11 1-Feb-16 - 1-Apr-16
2005 180,235
21  SALT LAKE CITY $55,800 5.00% Refined Success Limited 28-Sep-07 28-Aug-12 - 28-Oct-12
2005 171,810
22  SIDERIS GS D $30,500 5.00% BHP Billiton Marketing AG 16-Oct-10 16-Feb-13 - 16-Jun-13
2006 174,186
23  SEMIRIO D $17,350 5.00% Cargill International S.A., Geneva 30-May-11 15-Mar-13 - 14-Aug-13
2007 174,261
24  BOSTON D $14,000 5.00% Morgan Stanley Capital Group Inc. 29-Oct-11 29-Aug-13 - 29-Dec-13
2007 177,828
25  HOUSTON D $55,000 4.75% Shagang Shipping Co. 3-Nov-09 3-Oct-14 - 3-Jan-15
2009 177,729
26  NEW YORK D $48,000 3.75% Nippon Yusen Kaisha, Tokyo (NYK) 3-Mar-10 3-Jan-15 - 3-May-15
2010 177,773
Newcastlemax Bulk Carrier
27  LOS ANGELES E $18,000 5.00% EDF Trading Limited, London 9-Feb-12 9-Dec-15 - 9-Apr-16
2012 206,104
Vessels Under Construction
28  PHILADELPHIA E $18,000 5.00% EDF Trading Limited, London 16-May-12 16-Jan-16 - 16-Jul-16 8, 9, 10
2012 206,000
29  HULL H2528 F -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 8
2013 76,000
30  HULL H2529 F -- -- -- -- -- -- --
2013 76,000
* Each dry bulk carrier is a "sister ship," or closely similar, to other dry bulk carriers that have the same letter.
** Total commission percentage paid to third parties.
*** Charterers' optional period to redeliver the vessel to owners. Charterers have the right to add the off hire days, if any, and therefore the optional period may be extended.
1 The previous charterers, Daelim Corporation, Seoul, have agreed to compensate the owners for the early redelivery of the Clio by paying US$17,000 gross per day, minus 5% commission paid to third parties, starting from the date of redelivery to owners, on February 22, 2012, to the minimum agreed redelivery date, April 8, 2012.
2 Vessel off-hire for drydocking from March 27, 2012 to April 17, 2012.
3 Vessel off-hire for drydocking from January 28, 2012 to February 22, 2012.
4 Resource Marine Pte., Ltd, Singapore is a guaranteed nominee of Macquarie Bank Limited.
5 Since September 2010 Charterer's name has changed to Tata Steel UK, Limited.
6 Morgan Stanley Capital Group Inc. has the option to employ the vessel for a further minimum eleven (11) to a maximum thirteen (13) month period at a gross rate of US$15,000 per day starting twenty-four (24) months after delivery of the vessel to the charterer.
7 Shagang Shipping Co. is a guaranteed nominee of the Jiangsu Shagang Group Co.
8 Year of delivery and dwt are based on shipbuilding contract.
10 This newbuilding is also referred to as Hull H1235.
11 Based on expected date of delivery to owners.
Summary of Selected Financial & Other Data
For the three months ended March 31,
(unaudited) (unaudited)
INCOME STATEMENT DATA (in thousands of U.S. Dollars):
Time charter revenues $ 57,601  $ 69,436 
Voyage expenses 2,178  2,904 
Vessel operating expenses 14,657  12,369 
Net income attributed to Diana Shipping Inc. 19,961  33,136 
Average number of vessels 25.4  23.4 
Number of vessels 26.0  23.0 
Weighted average age of vessels (in years) 6.0  5.6 
Ownership days 2,313  2,106 
Available days 2,283  2,106 
Operating days 2,278  2,101 
Fleet utilization 99.8% 99.8%
Time charter equivalent (TCE) rate (1) $ 24,276  $ 31,592 
Daily vessel operating expenses (2) $ 6,337  $ 5,873 
(1) Time charter equivalent rates, or TCE rates, are defined as our time charter revenues less voyage expenses during a period divided by the number of our available days during the period, which is consistent with industry standards. Voyage expenses include port charges, bunker (fuel) expenses, canal charges and commissions. TCE is a non-GAAP measure. TCE rate is a standard shipping industry performance measure used primarily to compare daily earnings generated by vessels on time charters with daily earnings generated by vessels on voyage charters, because charter hire rates for vessels on voyage charters are generally not expressed in per day amounts while charter hire rates for vessels on time charters are generally expressed in such amounts.
(2) Daily vessel operating expenses, which include crew wages and related costs, the cost of insurance, expenses relating to repairs and maintenance, the costs of spares and consumable stores, tonnage taxes and other miscellaneous expenses, are calculated by dividing vessel operating expenses by ownership days for the relevant period.

Conference Call and Webcast Information

Diana Shipping Inc. will conduct a conference call and simultaneous Internet webcast to review these results at 9:00 A.M. (Eastern Time) on Thursday, May 3, 2012.

Investors may access the webcast by visiting the Company's website at www.dianashippinginc.com, and clicking on the webcast link. The conference call also may be accessed by telephone by dialing 1-877-407-8291 (for U.S.-based callers) or 1-201-689-8345 (for international callers), and asking the operator for the Diana Shipping Inc. conference call.

A replay of the webcast will be available soon after the completion of the call and will be accessible for 30 days on www.dianashippinginc.com. A telephone replay also will be available for 30 days by dialing 1-877-660-6853 (for U.S.-based callers) or 1-201-612-7415 (for international callers), and providing the Account number 362 and Replay ID number 391510.

About the Company

Diana Shipping Inc. is a leading global provider of shipping transportation services through the ownership and operation of dry bulk vessels. The Company's vessels are employed primarily on medium to long-term time charters and transport a range of dry bulk cargoes, including such commodities as iron ore, coal, grain and other materials along worldwide shipping routes.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Matters discussed in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides safe harbor protections for forward-looking statements in order to encourage companies to provide prospective information about their business. Forward-looking statements include statements concerning plans, objectives, goals, strategies, future events or performance, and underlying assumptions and other statements, which are other than statements of historical facts.

The Company desires to take advantage of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and is including this cautionary statement in connection with this safe harbor legislation. The words "believe," "anticipate," "intends," "estimate," "forecast," "project," "plan," "potential," "may," "should," "expect," "pending" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements.

The forward-looking statements in this press release are based upon various assumptions, many of which are based, in turn, upon further assumptions, including without limitation, our management's examination of historical operating trends, data contained in our records and other data available from third parties. Although we believe that these assumptions were reasonable when made, because these assumptions are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies which are difficult or impossible to predict and are beyond our control, we cannot assure you that we will achieve or accomplish these expectations, beliefs or projections.

In addition to these important factors, other important factors that, in our view, could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include the strength of world economies and currencies, general market conditions, including fluctuations in charter rates and vessel values, changes in demand for dry bulk shipping capacity, changes in our operating expenses, including bunker prices, drydocking and insurance costs, the market for our vessels, availability of financing and refinancing, changes in governmental rules and regulations or actions taken by regulatory authorities, potential liability from pending or future litigation, general domestic and international political conditions, potential disruption of shipping routes due to accidents or political events, vessels breakdowns and instances of off-hires and other factors. Please see our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a more complete discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties.

(See financial tables attached)

Expressed in thousands of U.S. Dollars, except share and per share data
 For the three months ended March 31,
Time charter revenues  $ 57,601   $ 69,436 
Other revenues  568   122 
Voyage expenses  2,178   2,904 
Vessel operating expenses  14,657   12,369 
Depreciation and amortization of deferred charges  14,588   13,497 
General and administrative expenses  6,118   6,546 
Foreign currency losses /(gains) (394)  8 
Operating income  21,022   34,234 
Interest and finance costs (1,543) (1,282)
Interest income  378   213 
Loss from derivative instruments (201) (85)
Income from investment in Diana Containerships Inc.  305   54 
Total other expenses, net (1,061) (1,100)
Net Income   $ 19,961   $ 33,134 
Loss assumed by non-controlling interests  --   2 
Net income attributed to Diana Shipping Inc.  19,961   33,136 
Earnings per common share, basic and diluted  $ 0.25   $ 0.41 
Weighted average number of common shares, basic 81,226,051  80,965,400 
Weighted average number of common shares, diluted 81,226,051  80,975,802 
 For the three months ended March 31,
2012 2011 
Net income  $ 19,961   $ 33,134 
Comprehensive loss assumed by non-controlling interests  --   2 
Comprehensive income attributed to Diana Shipping Inc.  $ 19,961   $ 33,136 
(in thousands of U.S. Dollars) 
 March 31, 2012December 31, 2011
 Cash and cash equivalents  $ 442,022  $ 416,674 
 Other current assets 13,189  16,017 
 Advances for vessels under construction and acquisitions and other vessel costs 33,225  63,440 
 Vessels' net book value  1,125,187  1,046,719 
 Other fixed assets, net 21,783  21,659 
 Investments 29,646  29,842 
 Other non-current assets 8,576  10,120 
Total assets  $ 1,673,628  $ 1,604,471 
 Current liabilities, including current portion of long-term debt $ 48,251  $ 48,095 
 Long-term debt, net of current portion and of deferred financing costs 393,265  345,638 
 Other non-current liabilities 2,030  1,860 
 Total stockholders' equity 1,230,082  1,208,878 
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity  $ 1,673,628  $ 1,604,471 
 For the three months ended March 31,
(unaudited) (unaudited)
 Net Cash provided by Operating Activities   $ 36,443   $ 42,164 
 Net Cash used in Investing Activities  (61,734) (12,440)
 Net Cash provided by / (used in) Financing Activities   50,639  (1,813)
CONTACT: Corporate Contact:
         Ioannis Zafirakis
         Director, Executive Vice-President and Secretary
         Telephone: + 30-210-9470100
         Email: izafirakis@dianashippinginc.com
         Investor and Media Relations:
         Edward Nebb
         Comm-Counsellors, LLC
         Telephone: + 1-203-972-8350
         Email: enebb@optonline.net
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