Norden springs new buy-back

Norden may be reluctant to buy additional ships at the moment but it continues to put its cash reserves to work.

Norden, which today issued a disappointing first quarter performance in a bad market, has launched a $10m share buy-back plan which will run over the next three months.

Carsten Mortensen, chief executive of Norden, tells TradeWinds the company is pressing on with the plan in order to invest in its own ships.

He points out that with dividends of $20m and $38m coupled with an earlier $30m buy-back Norden has returned $100m to shareholders in the past couple of years.

As TradeWinds reports today, Norden is now projecting a core operating performance between a loss of $40m and a gain of $60m this year.

The range compares with the $20m to $120m gain it had previously expected.

In the first quarter Norden logged a core operating loss of $8m, missing the consensus for a $10m gain.

A net loss of $26.55m for the quarter was more than double the $10m reversal projected.

A couple of weeks ago TradeWinds reported Norden had pressed pause on its expansion efforts given the crash in the dry cargo market.

Executive vice-president Martin Badsted said: “We have still allocated more capital to invest further. But when the market takes a tumble, as it has for the past four to six weeks in the Atlantic, you start thinking a little bit: was this the right thing to do?

“We still think it is but we are also trying to wait, be patient and see the market finding a new direction again before throwing more money at new vessels.”