Star shines in Q2

Star Bulk has reported a stronger than projected second quarter profit just 24 hours after the purchase of Excel Maritime.

Nasdaq-listed Star Bulk banked an adjusted profit of $2.84m in the three months to the end of June, up a fraction on the $2.59m of 12 months ago.

Adjusted earnings per share of $0.10 finished well clear of the three cents consensus.

Petros Pappas, chief executive of the owner, explained: “Our solid performance was driven by the increase in our operating fleet versus last year, as well as the continuous cost containment of operating expenses and corporate overhead.”

Pappas says income from Oceanbulk, which Star purchased in July, will appear on its balance sheet from the third quarter.

Strike two

Star’s second swoop of the summer was revealed yesterday with the $634.91m cash plus shares purchase of 34 bulkers from Excel Maritime.

"I personally feel excited regarding the overall transformation of Star Bulk through the last two years,” Pappas said.

Our focus remains on integrating the newly acquired fleet into our highly efficient platform, while we will continue to monitor and assess the market for further accretive growth opportunities.”

He says the recent softness of the freight market provides attractive “points of entry, especially if we take into account the attractive demand dynamics of the iron ore trade and the contained vessel supply growth over the next two years”.

Pappas added: "Overall we view that dry demand bulk fundamentals remain intact, as additional high quality, low cost iron ore mining capacity continues to come on line in Australia and most importantly Brazil, over the next two years, while coal trade will be further boosted from increased Indian seaborne imports.”

Star will have a fleet of 103 vessels when the two takeovers are sealed and its newbuildings hit the water.