Star Bulk Carriers Corp., a shipping company focusing on the transportation of drybulk cargoes, announced that its Board of Directors has declared a cash dividend of $0.05 per outstanding share of the company's common stock for the three months ending June 30, 2011. The dividend is payable on or about August 31, 2011 to shareholders of record as of August 25, 2011. The company also announced its unaudited financial and operating results for the second quarter and first half 2011.
Spyros Capralos, President and CEO of Star Bulk, commented: "Despite the weak dry bulk market environment in the second quarter of 2011, we are pleased to report a profit of $0.03 per share and declare our ninth consecutive quarterly dividend of $0.05 per share. Our long term fleet employment coverage continues to our benefit, as we have secured charter coverage for 84% of our operating days in 2011.
"We believe that Star Bulk is a financially sound company with a healthy balance sheet that allows us to successfully manage our debt payments, focus on our growth strategy and reward shareholders, once more, with a quarterly dividend. Our current compliance with all covenants underour loan facilities supports our financial health.
"The recent secondary offering has strengthened Star Bulk in this turbulent environment. The delivery of one Capesize vessel in July 2011 and the scheduled delivery of the three additional Capesize vessels in the second half of 2011is expected to enhance our revenue and cash flow. Despite the current challenging market conditions, due to the order book in the dry bulk sector, our long term view remains positive. Therefore, we believe we will be able to further grow our Company, by taking advantage of the falling asset values in a distressed market and create value for our shareholders."
George Syllantavos, Chief Financial Officer of Star Bulk, commented: "As of today, our outstanding debt amounts to $257 million with our principal repayment commitments for 2011 reduced substantially compared to last year since our loan repayment schedules were intentionally designed to be front-loaded during the period of historically high charter rates. Specifically, while during 2010 our loan repayments were $68 million, our repayment commitments for 2011, 2012, and 2013 have been reduced to $36 million, of which $21 million has been paid to date, $38 million, and $36 million, respectively. We have no exposure to interest rate swaps, which has allowed us to take the full benefit of the prevailing low interest rate environment. We experienced an increase of $3.3 million in our voyage expenses during the second quarter 2011 compared to the same period of last year due to expenses related to a shipment under a Contract of Affreightment. We currently have cash of $52 million that allows us to meet our repayment obligations, fund capital expenditures in the amount of $7 million for the Star Mega and pay our ninth consecutive quarterly dividend demonstrating our continued commitment to reward our shareholders."