SOURCE: Five Star Equities

Five Star Equities

February 27, 2013 08:20 ET

Slowing Fleet Growth to See Shipping Rates Rise Sharply Over the Next Few Years

Five Star Equities Provides Stock Research on Navios Maritime Partners L.P. and Safe Bulkers

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Feb 27, 2013) - The shipping industry has performed admirably to begin 2013 after being plagued by oversupply in 2012. The Guggenheim Shipping ETF (SEA) has gained 4.4 percent year-to-date. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Shipping Industry and provides equity research on Navios Maritime Partners L.P. (NYSE: NMM) and Safe Bulkers, Inc. (NYSE: SB).

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The Baltic Dry Index (BDI), a measure of costs to ship dry-bulk commodities such as grain, coal and iron ore, in 2012 posted its lowest average in 26 years. The BDI on Friday had a reading of 745, an increase of 16 percent when compared to the 26 year low seen on Feb. 1, 2012, according to data from Bloomberg. RS Platou Markets predicts shipping rates for Capesize vessels will average $11,000 a day in 2013, $19,000 a day in 2014, before nearly tripling to $30,000 by 2015.

"The slowing trend in fleet growth during the course of the year should create some upside potential for improving fundamentals in the second half of 2013," Platou said.

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Navios Partners owns and operates dry cargo vessels with primarily long term, staggered expiration charters. Navios Partners' vessels have an average remaining charter term of approximately 3.1 years. The company reported a fourth quarter net income of $40.1 million, an increase of 114.4 percent when compared to the year ago quarter. Shares of Navios Partners have gained nearly 10 percent year-to-date.

Safe Bulkers is an international provider of marine drybulk transportation services, transporting bulk cargoes, particularly coal, grain and iron ore, along worldwide shipping routes for some of the world's largest users of marine drybulk transportation services. The company reported fourth quarter net income increased 36 percent year-over-year to $32.2 million. Shares of Safe Bulkers have gained over 13 percent year-to-date.

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