What happened

Shares of Seaspan Corporation (NYSE:SSW) surged more than 22% by 11:45 a.m. EDT on Wednesday after the containership leasing company reported strong third-quarter results.

So what

Seaspan Corporation hauled in $295 million in revenue during the quarter. That's up 40% from the year-ago period and came in at the high end of its $291 million to $295 million guidance range, driven by a recent acquisition. Earnings per share, meanwhile, spiked 39% to $0.36 per share, which beat the consensus estimate of analysts by $0.08 per share.

A container ship at sea.

Image source: Getty Images.

Driving the company's better-than-expected profitability was its ability to keep a lid on costs. Heading into the quarter, for example, Seaspan anticipated that ship operating expenses would be in the range of $59 million to $63 million, but actual costs came in at $55.4 million. In the meantime, most other expenses came in toward the low end of the company's guidance.

On top of its strong operational and financial performance, the company also completed several transactions to bolster its balance sheet. Seaspan paid off $225 million in debt, refinanced $143.4 million in higher-yielding preferred shares with lower-yielding ones, and secured a new $150 million credit facility. These initiatives will not only reduce cash outflows for interest payments but will boost its liquidity so that it can pounce on compelling opportunities that may arise in the future. 

Now what

Seaspan expects its strong operating performance to continue as it benefits from the tailwinds of its most recent acquisition and an improving shipping market. In addition, the company continues to take steps to shore up its balance sheet, which gives it the financial flexibility to pursue additional expansion opportunities that could move the needle even further in the future.

Matthew DiLallo owns shares of Seaspan. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.