Diana Shipping Inc. Reports Financial Results for the First Quarter Ended March 31, 2010 and Board of Directors Reauthorizes the Share Repurchase Program

ATHENS, GREECE, May 26, 2010, – Diana Shipping Inc. (NYSE: DSX), a global shipping company specializing in the transportation of dry bulk cargoes, today reported net income of $28.8 million for the first quarter of 2010. This compared to net income of $34.8 million reported in the first quarter of 2009.

Voyage and time charter revenues were $62.2 million for the first quarter of 2010, compared to $62.7 million for the same period of 2009, due to a decrease in prevailing time charter rates, which was partly offset by increased revenues due to the addition to our fleet of the vessels Houston, delivered in October 2009, Melite, acquired in January 2010, and New York, delivered in March 2010.
Reauthorization of Stock Buyback Plan
The Company has further announced that the Board of Directors has reauthorized the share repurchase program announced on November 12, 2008 for up to U.S. $100 million of the Company’s common shares which may be repurchased from time to time until December 31, 2011. 
The plan allows for the repurchase of Common Stock to be made in open market or privately negotiated transactions in compliance with Rule 10b-18 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, subject to market and business conditions, applicable legal requirements and other factors. The plan will be implemented by the Company’s management at its discretion. The plan calls for the repurchased shares to be retired as soon as practicable following the repurchase. The plan does not oblige the Company to purchase any particular number of shares, and may be suspended at any time at the Company’s discretion in accordance with Rule 10b-18. The Company noted that it has not repurchased any shares under the prior buyback authorization.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer’s Comments
Simeon Palios, Chairman and CEO of Diana Shipping Inc., said, “Diana Shipping Inc. once again delivered positive net income that we believe is a result of our well-designed strategy to manage our fleet productively, in a consistent and transparent manner that is responsive to market conditions and opportunities. Furthermore, we have made progress toward our previously announced investment plan. We have increased our fleet to 22 vessels, plus another two on order, and at the same time we have maintained a strong balance sheet and liquidity to support further expansion in the future.”
Mr. Palios further stated, “In this volatile financial and shipping environment we have renewed the stock repurchase program. We continue to believe, as we have stated in the past, that the most productive use of our capital is to invest in the long-term growth of our fleet. However, we have the capacity to step in with the buyback program for the benefit of our shareholders if we determine that this is the most appropriate action based on market conditions.”…