Call me Ishmael. Under the command of Captain Economou, the battered vessel DryShips
Barely escaping with their lives after Moby Debt smashed a gaping hole in the side of their ship, the crew appears to have finally sunk a harpoon into the beast as the latest earnings cross the wires. Excluding special items like the $166 million charge from contract terminations and forfeitures of vessel deposits, DryShips' operations generated more than $47 million in net profit. More importantly, the shipper's liquidity has improved to $1.7 billion over recent months, while looming capital expenditures previously estimated at $2 billion have been wiped out.
DryShips, much like its debt-ridden competitor Excel Maritime Carriers
Back on the dry bulk side, persistently weak market conditions continue to challenge the entire group. While several operators have thus far been spared the full force of the perfect storm -- thanks to time charters inked before the big collapse in charter rates -- the reality of current spot rates continues to loom larger as more contracts expire. With time charter rates for Panamax vessels now languishing at around $13,000 per day, and the Baltic Dry Index still a full 85% below its May 2008 peak, this sector has yet to find a patch of calm water. Accordingly, DryShips' net voyage revenues fell 59% from the prior-year period to just $89 million.
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