Sea Containers Ltd. marine container lessor, passenger and freight transport operator and leisure industry investor, said today that it has received a number of inquiries about the recent fall in the company's common share price.
James B. Sherwood
, president, said that he was mystified because the company had an excellent fourth quarter in 2002 and its earnings for the year will be significantly higher than the $27.9 million ($1.40 per common share diluted) reported for the nine months ended September 30, 2002. This will represent a huge improvement over the net income of $4.5 million ($0.24 per common share diluted) reported for the full year 2001.
Sherwood said that the 2002 results were currently under audit and the company would announce its results late in March as customary.
Sherwood said that the fourth quarter, 2002 results were better than expected because marine container leasing showed improvement and the company's rail subsidiary, GNER
, had achieved important cost savings while revenue was on target.
Sherwood said that "shelf" registrations for sale of Sea Containers common shares and those of Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. owned by the company, as well as the Form 144 filing for sale of his own shares were exhausted late in 2002 and new filings have recently been made. Sherwood said in his own case he has no present intention of selling any of his shares in the company at today's distress prices.