SOURCE: Safe Bulkers, Inc.

November 03, 2009 16:05 ET

Safe Bulkers, Inc. Reports Third Quarter and First Nine Months of 2009 Results

ATHENS, GREECE--(Marketwire - November 3, 2009) - Safe Bulkers, Inc. (the "Company") (NYSE: SB), an international provider of marine drybulk transportation services, announced today its unaudited financial results for the three- and nine-month periods ended September 30, 2009.

Summary of Third Quarter 2009 Results

--  Net revenue for the third quarter of 2009 decreased by 31% to $36.9
    million from $53.4 million during the same period in 2008. The Company
    operated 13.2 vessels on average during the third quarter of 2009, earning
    a Time Charter Equivalent ("TCE")(1) rate of $30,113, compared to 11
    vessels and a TCE rate of $52,724 during the third quarter of 2008.  The
    decrease in the TCE rate resulted mainly from lower period time charter
    rates contracted during the second quarter of 2009 or during previous
    periods.
    
--  Net income was $22.2 million, or earnings per share of $0.41, in the
    third quarter of 2009, a decrease of 43% from net income of $39.2 million,
    or earnings per share of $0.72, in the third quarter of 2008. The decrease
    in net income of $17.0 million is mainly due to the decrease of net revenue
    as described above.
    
--  EBITDA(2) was $26.5 million for the third quarter of 2009, a decrease
    of 42% from $45.7 million in the third quarter of 2008, mainly due to lower
    net income as described above.
    
--  A dividend of $0.15 per share was declared for the third quarter of
    2009.
    

Summary of Results for the First Nine Months of 2009

--  Net revenue for the first nine months of 2009 decreased by 17% to
    $128.0 million from $154.1 million during the same period in 2008.  The
    Company operated 12.9 vessels on average during the first nine months of
    2009, earning a TCE rate of $36,241, compared to 11 vessels and a TCE rate
    of $51,511 during the first nine months of 2008.
    
--  Net income was $142.2 million, or earnings per share of $2.61, in the
    first nine months of 2009, an increase of 33% from net income of $107.3
    million, or earnings per share of $1.97, in the first nine months of 2008.
    The increase in net income of $34.9 million reflects mainly: (i) net
    revenue of $128.0 million, compared to $154.1 million, (ii) early
    redelivery income of $75.0 million, compared to early redelivery cost of
    $0.6 million, (iii) loss on asset cancellations of $20.7 million, compared
    to none, (iv) foreign exchange gain of $0.9 million, compared to foreign
    exchange loss of $9.0 million and (v) loss from derivatives of $3.2
    million, compared to gain from derivatives of $1.5 million for the
    corresponding periods of 2009 and 2008, respectively.
    
--  EBITDA was $159.2 million for the first nine months of 2009, an
    increase of 26% from $126.6 million in the first nine months of 2008,
    mainly due to higher net income as described above.
    

Dividend Declaration

The Company declared a cash dividend on its common stock of $0.15 per share payable on or about November 27, 2009 to shareholders of record at the close of trading of the Company's common stock on the New York Stock Exchange (the "NYSE") on November 20, 2009.

The Company had 54,512,931 shares of common stock outstanding as of October 31, 2009.

The Board of Directors of the Company is continuing a policy of paying out a portion of the Company's free cash flow at a level it considers prudent in light of the current economic and financial environment. The declaration and payment of dividends, if any, will always be subject to the discretion of the Board of Directors of the Company. The timing and amount of any dividends declared will depend on, among other things: (i) our earnings, financial condition and cash requirements and availability, (ii) our ability to obtain debt and equity financing on acceptable terms as contemplated by our growth strategy, (iii) provisions of Marshall Islands and Liberian law governing the payment of dividends, (iv) restrictive covenants in our existing and future debt instruments and (v) global financial conditions. We can give no assurance that dividends will be paid in the future.

Fleet and Employment Profile

--  The Company's operational fleet was comprised of 14 drybulk vessels
    with an average age of 3.54 years as of September 30, 2009.
    
--  We have entered into a 12- to 14-month period time charter for the
    Andreas K, a 92,000 dwt Post-Panamax class vessel with a delivery date in
    November 2009, at a gross daily rate of $20,500 less 3.75% total
    commissions. Our subsidiary Maxdodeka Shipping Corporation took delivery of
    the newbuild Andreas K on September 8, 2009.
    
--  As of October 30, 2009, the contracted employment of the Company's
    fleet under period time charters was as follows: 92% of fleet ownership
    days for the remaining days of 2009, 86% for 2010 and 59% for 2011. This
    includes all vessels which will be delivered to us through 2011.
    

Management Commentary

Polys Hajioannou, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, said: "Our Board has declared a dividend of $0.15 per share, which is the sixth consecutive quarterly cash dividend of the Company since its initial public offering and at the same level as that of the previous quarter. We continue to pay out a portion of our free cash flows, while we further strengthen our balance sheet, which will provide to us additional flexibility."

Conference Call

On Wednesday, November 4, 2009 at 9:00 A.M. EST, the Company's management team will host a conference call to discuss the financial results.

Participants should dial into the call 10 minutes before the scheduled time using the following numbers: 1 (866) 819-7111 (US Toll Free Dial In), 0(800) 953-0329 (UK Toll Free Dial In) or +44 (0)1452-542-301 (Standard International Dial In). Please quote "Safe Bulkers" to the operator.

In case of any problem with the above numbers, please dial 1 (866) 223-0615 (US Toll Free Dial In), 0(800) 694-1503 (UK Toll Free Dial In) or +44 (0)1452 586-513 (Standard International Dial In). Please quote "Safe Bulkers" to the operator.

A telephonic replay of the conference call will be available until November 11, 2009 by dialing 1 (866) 247-4222 (US Toll Free Dial In), 0(800) 953-1533 (UK Toll Free Dial In) or +44 (0)1452 550-000 (Standard International Dial In). Access Code: 1859591#

Slides and Audio Webcast

There will also be a live, and then archived, webcast of the conference call, available through the Company's website (www.safebulkers.com). Participants in the live webcast should register on the website approximately 10 minutes prior to the start of the webcast.

Management Discussion of Third Quarter 2009 Results

Net income decreased by 43% to $22.2 million for the third quarter of 2009 from $39.2 million for the third quarter of 2008. This decrease is attributable to the following factors:

Net revenues: Net revenues were $36.9 million for the third quarter of 2009, a 31% decrease compared to $53.4 million for the third quarter in 2008. Net revenues decreased due to lower time charter rates prevailing in the charter market.

Vessel operating expenses: Vessel operating expenses increased to $5.0 million for the third quarter of 2009, a 32% increase compared to $3.8 million for the same period in 2008. This increase is attributed mainly to the following factors: (i) an increase in the average number of vessels being operated, from 11 vessels during the third quarter 2008 to 13.2 vessels during the same period in 2009, (ii) the expense associated with obtaining initial supplies for the delivery of the newbuild vessel Andreas K, (iii) the expense associated with the partial completion of one dry-docking during the third quarter of 2009, compared to none during the same period of 2008 and (iv) the increase in crew expenses. Daily vessel operating expenses increased by 11% to $4,130 for the third quarter 2009, compared to $3,733 for the third quarter of 2008.

Early redelivery income/(cost): During the third quarter of 2009, we recorded $2.9 million of early redelivery income relating to the early termination of period time charters of our vessels Pedhoulas Leader and Stalo, versus none for the same period in 2008. Pedhoulas Leader was redelivered early on July 19, 2009 instead of November 22, 2009, which was the contracted earliest redelivery date. In connection with the early redelivery of Pedhoulas Leader, we received cash compensation of $2.7 million from the relevant charterer. Stalo was redelivered early on July 20, 2009 instead of July 29, 2009, which was the contracted earliest redelivery date. In connection with the early redelivery of Stalo, we received cash compensation of $0.2 million from the relevant charterer. Pedhoulas Leader is currently employed in the period time charter market and Stalo in the spot charter market.

Interest expense: Interest expense decreased to $1.9 million in the third quarter of 2009 from $4.1 million for the same period in 2008, notwithstanding the increase in weighted average indebtedness. The decrease in interest expense is attributable to the declining USD LIBOR levels as reflected in the decrease of weighted average interest rate from 3.758% in the third quarter of 2008, to 1.600% in the third quarter of 2009. The weighted average of loans outstanding during the third quarter of 2008 was $427.7 million, compared to $474.5 million during the third quarter of 2009. The higher weighted average indebtedness reflects additional indebtedness to finance vessel acquisitions and indebtedness used for general corporate purposes.

(Loss)/Gain on derivatives: Loss on derivatives increased to $6.0 million in the third quarter of 2009, compared to $3.1 million for the same period in 2008, as a result of the mark-to-market valuation of the Company's interest rate swap transactions which were transacted to manage the risk and interest rate exposure of our loan and credit facilities. At the end of the third quarter of 2009 there were 12 interest rate swap transactions outstanding, while 7 such transactions were outstanding at the end of the third quarter of 2008. The valuation of these interest rate swap transactions at the end of each quarter is affected by the prevailing interest rates at that time.

Cash, time deposits & restricted cash: Cash, time deposits & restricted cash as of September 30, 2009 increased by $45.9 million to $127.5 million from $81.6 million as of December 31, 2008. Cash, time deposits & restricted cash as of September 30, 2009 include cash and cash equivalents and short-term bank deposits amounting to $26.7 million, and the current portion of restricted cash of $100.8 million. The restricted cash represents collateral pledged in favor of our banks in connection with performance guarantees issued on our behalf for payments to shipyards totaling $32.6 million, and cash pledged in favor of our lenders of $68.2 million pursuant to our loan agreements, as amended.


          Unaudited Interim Financial Information and Other Data


                            SAFE BULKERS, INC.
         CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED  STATEMENTS OF INCOME (UNAUDITED)

                              Three-Month Period      Nine-Month Period
                              Ended September 30,     Ended September 30,
                            ----------------------  ----------------------
(In thousands of U.S.
 Dollars, except for share
 and per share data)           2008        2009        2008        2009
                            ----------  ----------  ----------  ----------
REVENUES:
  Revenues                      55,648      37,791     160,287     130,965
  Commissions                   (2,239)       (885)     (6,153)     (2,927)
  Net revenues                  53,409      36,906     154,134     128,038
EXPENSES:
  Voyage expenses                  (52)       (261)       (169)       (480)
  Vessel operating expenses     (3,778)     (5,030)    (12,605)    (14,408)
  Depreciation                  (2,614)     (3,409)     (7,784)     (9,952)
  General and administrative
   expenses                     (1,625)     (1,774)     (6,342)     (5,502)
  Early redelivery
   income/(cost)                     -       2,887        (565)     74,951
  Loss on asset
   cancellations                     -           -           -     (20,699)
  Operating income              45,340      29,319     126,669     151,948
OTHER (EXPENSE) / INCOME:
  Interest expense              (4,109)     (1,941)    (12,382)     (8,819)
  Other finance costs             (103)       (143)       (263)       (391)
  Interest income                  374       1,025         956       1,866
  (Loss)/gain on derivatives    (3,112)     (6,006)      1,456      (3,175)
  Foreign currency
   gain/(loss)                     922         (57)     (9,003)        903
  Amortization and write-off
   of deferred finance
   charges                         (65)        (38)       (109)        (86)
  Net income                    39,247      22,159     107,324     142,246
  Earnings per share              0.72        0.41        1.97        2.61
  Weighted average number
   of shares                 54,500,000  54,512,014  54,500,000  54,509,508




                            SAFE BULKERS, INC.
            CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS (UNAUDITED)


                                                 December 31, September 30,
 (In thousands of U.S. Dollars)                      2008          2009
                                                  -----------  ------------
ASSETS
  Cash, time deposits & restricted cash                81,605       127,548
  Asset held for sale                                       -        16,969
  Other current assets                                  6,479         6,128
  Total fixed assets                                  387,296       452,383
  Other non-current assets                              6,900         6,066
  Total assets                                        482,282       609,094
LIABILITIES AND EQUITY

  Current portion of long-term debt & liability
   directly associated with asset held for sale        54,807        49,104
  Other current liabilities                            16,056        12,907
  Long-term debt, net of current portion              413,483       421,832
  Other non-current liabilities                        33,481        43,034
  Shareholders (deficit)/equity                       (35,545)       82,217
  Total liabilities and equity                        482,282       609,094



Fleet Data

                                    Three-Month Period  Nine-Month Period
                                          Ended              Ended
                                      September 30,       September 30,
                                    ------------------  ------------------
                                      2008      2009      2008      2009
                                    --------  --------  --------  --------
FLEET DATA
Number of vessels at period's end      11.00     14.00     11.00     14.00
Weighted average age of fleet (in
 years)                                 3.37      3.54      3.37      3.54
Ownership days (1)                     1,012     1,218     3,014     3,529
Available days (2)                     1,012     1,217     2,989     3,520
Operating days (3)                     1,006     1,202     2,976     3,505
Fleet utilization (4)                   99.4%     98.7%     98.7%     99.3%
Average number of vessels in the
 period (5)                            11.00     13.24     11.00     12.93
AVERAGE DAILY RESULTS
Time charter equivalent rate (6)    $ 52,724  $ 30,113  $ 51,511  $ 36,241
Daily vessel operating expenses (7) $  3,733  $  4,130  $  4,182  $  4,083


(1) Ownership days represent the aggregate number of days in a period
    during which each vessel in our fleet has been owned by us.
(2) Available days represent the total number of days in a period
    during which each vessel in our fleet was in our possession net of
    off-hire days associated with scheduled maintenance, which includes
    major repairs, drydockings, vessel upgrades or special or intermediate
    surveys.
(3) Operating days represent the number of our available days in a
    period less the aggregate number of days that our vessels are off-hire
    due to any reason, excluding scheduled maintenance.
(4) Fleet utilization is calculated by dividing the number of our
    operating days during a period by the number of our ownership days
    during that period.
(5) Average number of vessels in the period is calculated by dividing
    ownership days in the period by the number of days in that period.
(6) Time charter equivalent rates, or TCE rates, represent our charter
    revenues less commissions and voyage expenses during a period divided
    by the number of our available days during the period.
(7) Daily vessel operating expenses include the costs for crewing,
    insurance, lubricants, spare parts, provisions, stores, repairs,
    maintenance, statutory and classification expense, drydocking,
    intermediate and special surveys and other miscellaneous items. Daily
    vessel operating expenses are calculated by dividing vessel operating
    expenses by ownership days for the relevant period.




EBITDA RECONCILIATION
(In thousands of U.S. Dollars)

                               Three-Month Period       Nine-Month Period
                                     Ended                   Ended
                                 September 30,            September 30,
                            ----------------------- -----------------------
                               2008         2009       2008        2009
                            ----------- ----------- ----------- -----------
Net Income                       39,247      22,159     107,324     142,246
Plus Net Interest Expense         3,735         916      11,426       6,953
Plus Depreciation                 2,614       3,409       7,784       9,952
Plus Amortization                    65          38         109          86
EBITDA                           45,661      26,522     126,643     159,237


EBITDA represents net income before interest, income tax expense,
depreciation and amortization. EBITDA is not a recognized measurement under
US GAAP. EBITDA assists the Company's management and investors by
increasing the comparability of the Company's fundamental performance from
period to period and against the fundamental performance of other companies
in the Company's industry that provide EBITDA information. The Company
believes that EBITDA is useful in evaluating the Company's operating
performance compared to that of other companies in the Company's industry
because the calculation of EBITDA generally eliminates the effects of
financings, income taxes and the accounting effects of capital expenditures
and acquisitions, items which may vary for different companies for reasons
unrelated to overall operating performance.

EBITDA has limitations as an analytical tool, and should not be considered
in isolation, or as a substitute for analysis of the Company's results as
reported under US GAAP. EBITDA should not be considered a substitute for
net income and other operations data prepared in accordance with US GAAP or
as a measure of profitability. While EBITDA is frequently used as a measure
of operating results and performance, it is not necessarily comparable to
other similarly titled captions of other companies due to differences in
methods of calculation.




Fleet Employment Profile as of October 30, 2009

Set out below is a table showing our existing vessels and their contracted
employment.

                              Year   Charter Rate (a)      Time Charter
Vessel Name             DWT   Built      USD/day           Duration (b)
                       ------ ------ ----------------- --------------------
MV Efrossini (c)       76,000   2003              Spot  Oct 2009 - Nov 2009
                       ------ ------ ----------------- --------------------
MV Maria               76,000   2003            18,000  Jun 2009 - Aug 2010
                       ------ ------ ----------------- --------------------
MV Vassos              76,000   2004            29,000  Nov 2008 - Oct 2013
                       ------ ------ ----------------- --------------------
MV Katerina            76,000   2004            15,500  Jun 2009 - May 2011
                       ------ ------ ----------------- --------------------
                                            15,500      Jan 2009 - Dec 2009
MV Maritsa             76,000   2005        28,000 (d)  Jan 2010 - Jan 2015
                       ------ ------ ----------------- --------------------
MV Pedhoulas Merchant  82,300   2006        43,120 (e)  Nov 2008 - Nov 2010
                       ------ ------ ----------------- --------------------
MV Pedhoulas Trader    82,300   2006        41,500 (f)  Aug 2008 - Jul 2013
                       ------ ------ ----------------- --------------------
MV Pedhoulas Leader    82,300   2007            18,500  Jul 2009 - Jun 2011
                       ------ ------ ----------------- --------------------
                                                Spot    Oct 2009 - Nov 2009
MV Stalo               87,000   2006            34,160  Jan 2010 - Dec 2014
                       ------ ------ ----------------- --------------------
MV Marina              87,000   2006        41,500 (g)  Dec 2008 - Dec 2013
                       ------ ------ ----------------- --------------------
MV Sophia              87,000   2007            34,720  Oct 2008 - Sep 2013
                       ------ ------ ----------------- --------------------
MV Eleni               87,000   2008        41,640 (h)  Nov 2008 - Mar 2015
                       ------ ------ ----------------- --------------------
MV Martine             87,000   2009            40,500  Feb 2009 - Feb 2014
                       ------ ------ ----------------- --------------------
                                                Spot    Sep 2009 - Nov 2009
MV Andreas K           92,000   2009            20,500  Nov-2009 - Nov 2010
                       ------ ------ ----------------- --------------------

(a) Either gross charter rate or average gross charter rate for
    charter parties with variable rates among periods or for consecutive
    charter parties with the same charterer under similar basic terms.
(b) Delivery/redelivery dates reflect Company’s best estimates, but
    actual delivery/redelivery dates can differ pursuant to the terms of
    the relevant charter contract.
(c) Vessel is committed for sale, scheduled to be delivered to her
    new owner during December 2009.
(d) Reflects average rate among various options available to the charterer.
(e) Extension of existing contract from Nov. 2008 to Nov. 2009 at
    $75,000 until Nov. 2010 at a rate of $43,120 as of Jan. 25, 2009.
(f) Five-year variable rate contract, first year at $69,000, second
    year at $56,500, third year at $42,000, fourth and fifth years at
    $20,000.
(g) Five-year variable rate contract, $61,500 from Dec. 2008 to Mar.
    2009, $57,500 from Apr. 2009 to Dec. 2009, $52,500 from Dec. 2009 to
    Dec. 2010, $42,500 from Dec. 2010 to Dec. 2011, $32,500 from Dec.
    2011 to Oct. 2012, $31,500 from Oct. 2012 to Dec. 2012 and $21,500
    from Dec. 2012 to Dec. 2013.
(h) Three contracts in direct continuation, the first from Nov. 2008
    to Oct. 2009 at $70,000, the second from Oct. 2009 to Mar. 2010 at
    $66,400 and the third from Apr. 2010 to Apr. 2015 at $34,160.

The contracted charter coverage, including newbuilds expected to be delivered through 2011, based on Company's best estimate as of October 30, 2009, is:

2009  ...................92%
2010  ...................86%
2011  ...................59%

About Safe Bulkers, Inc.

The Company is an international provider of marine drybulk transportation services, transporting bulk cargoes, particularly grain, iron ore and coal, along worldwide shipping routes for some of the world's largest users of marine drybulk transportation services. The Company's common stock is listed on the NYSE, where it trades under the symbol "SB." The Company's fleet consists of 14 drybulk vessels, all built post-2003, and the Company has contracted to acquire additional drybulk newbuild vessels to be delivered at various times beginning in 2010 through 2011.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements (as defined in Section 27A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1933, as amended and in Section 21E of the Securities Act of 1934, as amended) concerning future events, the Company's growth strategy and measures to implement such strategy, including expected vessel acquisitions and entering into further time charters. Words such as "expects," "intends," "plans," "believes," "anticipates," "hopes," "estimates" and variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, no assurance can be given that such expectations will prove to have been correct. These statements involve known and unknown risks and are based upon a number of assumptions and estimates that are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond the control of the Company. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, but are not limited to, the ability to satisfy the closing conditions of the acquisition, changes in the demand for drybulk vessels, competitive factors in the market in which the Company operates, risks associated with operations outside the United States and other factors listed from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company expressly disclaims any obligations or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the Company's expectations with respect thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any statement is based.

(1) Refer to definition of "TCE" in Note 6 of Fleet Data Table.

(2) EBITDA represents net income plus interest expense, tax, depreciation and amortization. See "EBITDA Reconciliation."

Contact Information

  • For further information please contact:

    Company Contact:
    Dr. Loukas Barmparis
    President
    Safe Bulkers, Inc.
    Athens, Greece
    Tel.: +30 (210) 899-4980
    Fax: +30 (210) 895-4159
    E-Mail: directors@safebulkers.com

    Investor Relations / Media Contact:
    Ramnique Grewal
    Vice President
    Capital Link, Inc.
    230 Park Avenue, Suite 1536
    New York, N.Y. 10169
    Tel.: (212) 661-7566
    Fax: (212) 661-7526
    E-Mail: safebulkers@capitallink.com