Baltic Trading's net loss increases in first-quarter

by World Grain Staff
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK, U.S. — Baltic Trading Limited reported on April 30 a net loss for the first quarter of $4.5 million, or 20¢ per share, compared to a loss of $1.7 million or 8¢ per share for the same period a year ago.

"During the first quarter, we continued to implement our fleet deployment strategy that provides the ability to generate significant operating leverage when the freight rate environment improves,” said John C. Wobensmith, president and chief financial officer. “While market conditions remain challenging, we continue to benefit from a strong balance sheet with low debt and cost-effective operations. For the first quarter, we declared a dividend of 5¢ per share, representing our eighth consecutive dividend since going public in March 2010. Going forward, we will maintain our focus on maximizing the utilization of our modern, high-quality fleet and seeking to distribute a substantial portion of our cash flows to shareholders." 

The dividend is payable on or about May 17 to all shareholders of record as of May 10.

Baltic Trading Limited's revenues decreased to $6.3 million for the first quarter of 2012 compared to $9.5 million for the first quarter of 2011, due to lower spot market rates achieved by its vessels during the quarter.

Total operating expenses were $9.7 million for quarter compared to $10.1 million for the same time period a year ago. Vessel operating expenses were $3.9 million for both quarters. General, administrative and technical management fees decreased to $1.3 million in 2012 from $1.8 million during the comparative period in 2011 primarily due to lower non-cash compensation. Depreciation and amortization expenses for the first quarter of 2012 increased to $3.7 million from $3.6 million during the first quarter of 2011.

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