Diana Shipping inc. (DSX)

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Diana Shipping (DSX)

Q3 2010 Earnings Call

November 15, 2010 9:00 a.m. ET

Executives

Edward Nebb - IR

Simeon Palios - Chairman and CEO

Anastasios Margaronis - President

Andreas Michalopoulos - CFO

Ioannis Zafirakis - EVP

Analysts

Justin Yagerman - Deutsche Bank

Gregory Lewis - Credit Suisse Group

Michael Webber - Wells Fargo

Natasha Boyden - Cantor Fitzgerald

Fotis Giannakoulis - Morgan Stanley

Tatiana - Lazard

Presentation

Operator

Greetings and welcome to the Diana Shipping 2010 third quarter conference call. [Operator instructions.] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded. It is now my pleasure to introduce your host, Mr. Edward Nebb, investor relations advisor for Diana Shipping. Thank you Mr. Nebb. You may begin.

Edward Nebb

Thanks operator, and greetings to everyone I want to welcome you to the Diana Shipping Inc. 2010 third quarter conference call. The members of the Diana Shipping management team who are with us today include Mr. Simeon Palios, chairman and chief executive officer; Mr. Anastasios Margaronis, president; Mr. Andreas Michalopoulos, chief financial officer; Mr. Ioannis Zafirakis, executive vice president and secretary; and Ms. Maria Dede, chief accounting officer.

Before management begins their remarks, let me briefly summarize the Safe Harbor notice, which you can see in its entirety in today's news release. Certain statements made during this conference call, which are not statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements and are made pursuant to the Safe Harbor Provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

Such forward-looking statements are based on assumptions, expectations, projections, intentions, and beliefs as to future events that may not prove to be accurate. For a description of the risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause future results to differ materially from what is expressed or forecast in forward-looking statements, please refer to the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

And now with that, let me turn the call over to Mr. Simeon Palios, chairman and chief executive officer.

Simeon Palios

Good morning and thank you for joining us today. It is my pleasure to report that during the 2010 third quarter and the year-to-date, Diana Shipping has made significant strategic progress. We have continued our focused and determined growth strategy of acquiring additional vessels to expand the company's revenue-generating capacity. We have maintained relationships with high quality charters and helped ensure the continuing [inaudible] of our fleet with reliable partners, and we entered into a milestone loan agreement with the Export-Import Bank of China that has significantly broadened the financial resources available to support our future growth.

I will review each of these important developments in further detail in a few moments, but first I would like to point out several highlights of our recent financial results. Net income was $33.8 million for the third quarter of 2010. Voyage and time charter revenues grew to $71.6 million, largely due to fleet expansion. Our average daily time charter equivalent rate was $31,593 for the 2010 third quarter, which covers daily vessel operating expenses by a factor of nearly 5.3 times.

Once again, we have maintained a healthy balance sheet, which is reflected in our cash position of over $311 million as of September 30, 2010. Also, the company's long-term debt, including the current quarter, was $344.6 million at the end of the third quarter, compared with a stockholders' equity of $1.1 billion.

Throughout 2010, we have maintained our commitment to grow Diana's revenue generation capacity through our fleet expansion strategy. During this week we expect to take delivery of a Post-Panamax dry bulk carrier of 93,193 dw to be named "Alcmene." This vessel already has been chartered to carry international [inaudible] at a gross charter rate of $20,250 per day of a period of about 23-25 months.

The Alcmene will join several other vessels that we have added to the fleet in the past year. This includes the Melite and New York, which were delivered in the first quarter of 2010 and two new Newcastle Max new buildings for which the delivery is anticipated in 2012.

We remain focused on this strategy of expanding our fleet in a discipline and cost-effective manner, which we believe will position the company well for future opportunities. As we have noted in the past, we plan to continue this process over the next 12 to 18 months in order to build our capacity to generate consistent revenues and drive increasing shareholder value.

In addition, consistent with our longstanding practices, we have cultivated a relationship with high-quality charters. For example, in addition to chartering the Alcmene to Cargill International, we also announced the direct continuation of our time charter agreement with Cargill for the Calipso. Also, during the third quarter we announced charters for the Naias with J. Aron, the Goldman Sachs affiliate, and for the Oceanis, with Sinochart. Last week, we announced a charter contract for the Triton with Resources Marine, a guaranteed nominee of Macquarie Bank Limited.

Now I would like to spend a few moments highlighting the announcement which we made last month for a 10-year term loan agreement in which the Export-Import Bank of China has a majority interest and DNB NOR Bank ASA as agent. This $82.6 million [inaudible] will be used to partially finance after delivery the acquisition of the two new building dry bulk carriers that I mentioned earlier.

We believe that the true significance of this agreement extends well beyond this specific transaction. This agreement establishes a long-term relationship between Diana Shipping and China Eximbank, thus expanding our access to a major source of cost-effective financing that is focused on opportunities in the shipping sector. The Chinese prime minster, Mr. Wen Jiabao, was present at the signing of this agreement, which we believe demonstrates the support that this agreement enjoys at the highest level of the government.

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