ATHENS, GREECE, November 14, 2007 – Diana Shipping Inc. (NYSE: DSX), a global shipping transportation company specializing in dry bulk cargoes, today reported net income and net income available to common stockholders of $50.4 million, including a $21.5 million gain on vessel sale, for the third quarter of 2007, compared to net income of $16.7 million reported in the third quarter of 2006.
Voyage and time charter revenues were $49.1 million for the third quarter of 2007, compared to $30.6 million for the same period of 2006, due to an increase in prevailing time charter rates and an increase in the number of vessels in the Company’s fleet.
Net income and net income available to common stockholders for the nine months ended September 30, 2007, amounted to $97.8 million, compared to net income of $41.6 million for the same period of 2006. For the nine months ended September 30, 2006 net income available to common stockholders amounted to $21.3 million, after a non-recurring preferential deemed dividend of $20.3 million relating to the purchase of the Diana Shipping Services S.A. fleet management company on April 1, 2006. Voyage and time charter revenues were $131.6 million for the first nine months of 2007, compared to $80.9 million for the same period of 2006.
The Company has declared a cash dividend on its common stock of $0.58 per share, based on its results of operations during the quarter ended September 30, 2007. The cash dividend will be payable on or about December 6, 2007 to shareholders of record as of November 29, 2007. The Company has 74.4 million shares of common stock outstanding.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer’s Comments
“The strong market conditions, prudent management of our fleet, and a gain on the sale of an older vessel enabled us to more than triple our net income for the third quarter of 2007 as compared to the equivalent period in 2006. Our latest dividend declaration is continued proof of our stated commitment to distribute substantially all of our free cash flow from operations to our shareholders,” said Simeon Palios, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Diana Shipping.
With respect to market conditions, Mr. Palios noted, “The dry bulk market remains firm and we continue to enjoy historically high levels of demand for the transportation of the commodities carried on the Diana vessels, in spite of the iron ore contract negotiations. We expect the next few quarters to continue to be strong, with China, India and other developing regions moving their economic activity forward at strong rates of growth, while port congestion and the ton mile effect will help in maintaining a very tight supply-demand situation in the dry bulk market. Looking out into the future we expect to continue to benefit from the present favorable market conditions, as the attractive hire rates on our existing charters, together with the four vessels which we will be chartering within the next several weeks, will secure a very satisfactory return for our investors. We look forward to our next quarter and 2008 results with confidence.”…