Safe beats Street

Safe Bulkers reported a fourth-quarter profit Wednesday that topped most Wall Street forecasts.
SB is based in Athens.

SB is based in Athens.

The New York-listed bulker owner posted a gain of $31m for the three months to 31 December, which was slightly lower than the $32.3m profit carded in the comparable period a year prior.

In the Greek operator’s earnings report it noted adjusted net income and net revenues rose by 53% and 28% year-on-year to $31.3m and $59.2m, respectively.

Earnings per share amounted to $0.38, which, according to data from Thompson Reuters, means the company beat the Wall Street consensus estimate by $0.20.

Going forward long-time president Loukas Barmparis pointed out that many of Safe’s long-term period charters have expired, which has given the company what he described as “substantial and increasing exposure” to the spot market.

“We believe our ongoing efforts to renew and gradually expand our fleet has positioned us well this early stage of the forthcoming shipping cycle,” he added.

Safe noted that, as of 25 February 2014, it had contracted to acquire eight additional newbuildings with deliveries due at various intervals through 2016. It said the backlog includes six panamaxes and a pair of post-panamaxes.

The company also shed light on the recent termination of certain time charters and mentioned that it recently secured an arbitration award of $31.8m plus $4.1m in interest related to a cancelled order for a capesize bulker before assuring shareholders that it was confident that it will be able to recover advances and interest.

In a client briefing that followed Wednesday’s earnings announcement Gregory Lewis of Credit Suisse applauded Safe’s fourth-quarter results and told investors that he would not be surprised to see the Athens-based owner seal further ship acquisitions in the months ahead.

Safe Bulkers
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