SOURCE: Star Bulk Carriers Corp.

Star Bulk Carriers Corp.

June 30, 2015 17:40 ET

Star Bulk Carriers Corp. Reports Financial Results for the First Quarter Ended March 31, 2015

ATHENS, GREECE--(Marketwired - Jun 30, 2015) - Star Bulk Carriers Corp. (the "Company" or "Star Bulk") (NASDAQ: SBLK), a global shipping company focusing on the transportation of dry bulk cargoes, today announced its unaudited financial and operating results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2015.

Financial Highlights

         
(Expressed in thousands of U.S. dollars, except for daily rates and per share data)   Three months ended
March 31, 2015
 
 
Three months ended
March 31, 2014
Total Revenues   $45,501   $20,179
EBITDA (1)   ($11,564)   $6,741
Adjusted EBITDA (1)   ($5,638)   $7,796
Net loss   ($40,176)   ($878)
Adjusted Net income / (loss)   ($30,303)   $1,743
Loss per share basic and diluted   ($0.26)   ($0.03)
Adjusted earnings/ (loss) per share basic and diluted   ($0.20)   $0.06
Average Number of Vessels   65.1   15.8
Time Charter Equivalent Rate ("TCE")   $6,866   $14,343
Average OPEX per day per vessel   $4,739   $5,629
Average daily Net Cash G&A expenses per vessel (2)   $1,130   $1,473
         

(1) See the table at the back of this release for a reconciliation of EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA to Net Cash Provided by / (Used in) Operating Activities, which is the most directly comparable financial measure calculated and presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States ("U.S. GAAP").

(2) Average daily Net Cash G&A expenses per vessel is calculated by deducting Management fee Income and adding the Management fee expense in General and Administrative expenses (net of stock based compensation expense) and then dividing with the ownership days.

Petros Pappas, Chief Executive Officer of Star Bulk, commented: "In the first quarter of 2015 we have witnessed a new historical low of the dry bulk market, which has clearly impacted our financial performance as well as that of other companies in the dry bulk market. Amidst this weak market environment, we continue to take proactive measures in order to control costs, enhance our liquidity position and safeguard long term shareholder value.

"We remain committed to be among the lowest cost operators in the industry. Our average daily operating expenses per vessel were $4,439 for Q1 2015, reduced by 7% compared to the full year 2014 amount of $4,750 per day. Similarly, our average daily net cash G&A expenses per vessel for Q1 2015 were $1,130, reduced by 22% versus $1,440 per day for full year 2014, demonstrating the effect of economies of scale on our bottom line.

"In order to proactively enhance our liquidity position, we tapped the capital markets in May 2015, raising a total $180 million of additional common equity. This capital raise was supported again by our major shareholders, Oaktree Capital Management, Monarch Alternative Capital, my family and business associates, as well as many reputable institutional investors.

"Furthermore, we have agreed to delay the delivery of our remaining newbuilding vessels by a total of 77 months, or approximately 3.3 months per vessel, deferring $288.0 million of newbuilding installments from 2015 to 2016. This initiative has boosted our liquidity position in 2015 and has enhanced the resale value of many of our newbuilding vessels, since they will be one year younger than we had previously expected. In addition, we have agreed the cancellation of one newbuilding vessel without incurring penalties and have thus reduced our expected equity capital expenditures by $11.6 million.

"As part of our fleet renewal plan, since January 1, 2015, we have successfully disposed of eight older vessels for total gross proceeds of $42.7 million. In addition, we have completed the acquisition of the last six vessels from the fleet of Excel Maritime and have taken delivery of nine newbuilding vessels. As of today, 25 newbuilding vessels are due for delivery over the next 18 months with relevant capital obligations fully financed.

"We have also agreed with our lenders to the relaxation and waiver of certain key financial covenants until December 31, 2016, proactively dealing with compliance issues we thought were possible in the future.

"While rates remain low, there have been some positive developments on the supply side, with record scrapping levels, high slippage, minimal ordering, diminishing orderbook and, notably, negative Capesize fleet growth year to date.

"In my experience, due to the cyclical nature of the shipping business a deep and prolonged market downturn is usually followed by a steep and sustainable recovery. Overall, the actions we have taken so far have allowed us to protect our asset base and navigate safely through turbulent waters. We continue to work so as to ensure that Star Bulk is favorably positioned for the next upturn of the shipping cycle."

Existing On the Water Fleet Profile

                     
    Vessel Name   Drybulk
Vessel Type
  Capacity
(dwt.)
  Year Built   Date Delivered to Star Bulk
1   Gargantua   Newcastlemax   209,529   2015   2-Apr-15
2   Deep Blue   Capesize   182,608   2015   27-May-15
3   Leviathan   Capesize   182,511   2014   19-Sep-14
4   Peloreus   Capesize   182,496   2014   22-Jul-14
5   Indomitable   Capesize   182,476   2015   8-Jan-15
6   Obelix   Capesize   181,433   2011   11-Jul-14
7   Christine   Capesize   180,274   2010   31-Oct-14
8   Sandra   Capesize   180,274   2008   29-Dec-14
9   Pantagruel   Capesize   180,181   2004   11-Jul-14
10   Star Borealis   Capesize   179,678   2011   9-Sep-11
11   Star Polaris   Capesize   179,600   2011   14-Nov-11
12   Star Angie   Capesize   177,931   2007   29-Oct-14
13   Big Fish   Capesize   177,643   2004   11-Jul-14
14   Kymopolia   Capesize   176,990   2006   11-Jul-14
15   Big Bang   Capesize   174,109   2007   11-Jul-14
16   Star Aurora   Capesize   171,199   2000   8-Sep-10
17   Lowlands Beilun   Capesize   170,162   1999   29-Dec-14
18   Star Eleonora   Capesize   164,218   2001   3-Dec-14
19   Star Monisha   Capesize   164,218   2001   2-Feb-15
20   Amami   Post Panamax   98,681   2011   11-Jul-14
21   Madredeus   Post Panamax   98,681   2011   11-Jul-14
22   Star Sirius   Post Panamax   98,681   2011   7-Mar-14
23   Star Vega   Post Panamax   98,681   2011   13-Feb-14
24   Star Angelina   Kamsarmax   82,981   2006   5-Dec-14
25   Star Gwyneth   Kamsarmax   82,790   2006   5-Dec-14
26   Star Kamila   Kamsarmax   82,769   2005   3-Sep-14
27   Pendulum   Kamsarmax   82,619   2006   11-Jul-14
28   Star Maria   Kamsarmax   82,598   2007   5-Nov-14
29   Star Markella   Kamsarmax   82,594   2007   29-Sep-14
30   Star Danai   Kamsarmax   82,574   2006   21-Oct-14
31   Star Georgia   Kamsarmax   82,298   2006   14-Oct-14
32   Star Sophia   Kamsarmax   82,269   2007   31-Oct-14
33   Star Mariella   Kamsarmax   82,266   2006   19-Sep-14
34   Star Moira   Kamsarmax   82,257   2006   19-Nov-14
35   Star Nina   Kamsarmax   82,224   2006   5-Jan-15
36   Star Renee   Kamsarmax   82,221   2006   19-Dec-14
37   Star Nasia   Kamsarmax   82,220   2006   29-Aug-14
38   Star Laura   Kamsarmax   82,209   2006   9-Dec-14
39   Star Jennifer   Kamsarmax   82,209   2006   15-Apr-15
40   Star Helena   Kamsarmax   82,187   2006   29-Dec-14
41   Mercurial Virgo   Kamsarmax   81,545   2013   11-Jul-14
42   Magnum Opus   Kamsarmax   81,022   2014   11-Jul-14
43   Tsu Ebisu   Kamsarmax   81,001   2014   11-Jul-14
44   Star Iris   Panamax   76,466   2004   8-Sep-14
45   Star Aline   Panamax   76,429   2004   4-Sep-14
46   Star Emily   Panamax   76,417   2004   16-Sep-14
47   Star Natalie   Panamax   73,798   1998   29-Aug-14
48   Star Nicole   Panamax   73,751   1997   14-Jan-15
49   Star Vanessa   Panamax   72,493   1999   7-Nov-14
50   Star Claudia   Panamax   71,662   1997   20-Jan-15
51   Idee Fixe   Ultramax   63,458   2015   25-Mar-15
52   Roberta   Ultramax   63,426   2015   31-Mar-15
53   Laura   Ultramax   63,399   2015   7-Apr-15
54   Kaley   Ultramax   63,283   2015   26-Jun-15
55   Star Challenger   Ultramax   61,462   2012   12-Dec-13
56   Star Fighter   Ultramax   61,455   2013   30-Dec-13
57   Honey Badger   Ultramax   61,297   2015   27-Feb-15
58   Wolverine   Ultramax   61,297   2015   27-Feb-15
59   Maiden Voyage   Supramax   58,722   2012   11-Jul-14
60   Strange Attractor   Supramax   55,742   2006   11-Jul-14
61   Star Omicron   Supramax   53,489   2005   17-Apr-08
62   Star Gamma   Supramax   53,098   2002   4-Jan-08
63   Star Zeta   Supramax   52,994   2003   2-Jan-08
64   Star Delta   Supramax   52,434   2000   2-Jan-08
65   Star Theta   Supramax   52,425   2003   6-Dec-07
66   Star Epsilon   Supramax   52,402   2001   3-Dec-07
67   Star Cosmo   Supramax   52,246   2005   1-Jul-08
68   Star Kappa   Supramax   52,055   2001   14-Dec-07
69   Star Michele   Handymax   45,588   1998   14-Oct-14
        Total dwt:   7,038,395        
                     

Newbuilding Vessels

                     
    Vessel Name   Drybulk
Vessel Type
  Capacity
(dwt.)
  Shipyard   Expected Delivery
 Date
1   HN NE 167 (tbn Goliath)   Newcastlemax   209,000   NACKS, China   July 2015
2   HN NE 184 (tbn Maharaj)   Newcastlemax   209,000   NACKS, China   July 2015
3   HN NE 198 (tbn Star Poseidon)   Newcastlemax   209,000   NACKS, China   March 2016
4   HN 1359 (tbn Star Marisa)   Newcastlemax   208,000   SWS, China   November 2015
5   HN 1372 (tbn Star Libra)   Newcastlemax   208,000   SWS, China   November 2015
6   HN 1360 (tbn Star Ariadne)   Newcastlemax   208,000   SWS, China   February 2016
7   HN 1342 (tbn Star Gemini)   Newcastlemax   208,000   SWS, China   March 2016
8   HN 1371 (tbn Star Virgo)   Newcastlemax   208,000   SWS, China   February 2016
9   HN 1361 (tbn Star Magnanimus)   Newcastlemax   208,000   SWS, China   May 2016
10   HN 1343 (tbn Star Leo)   Newcastlemax   208,000   SWS, China   March 2016
11   HN 1363 (tbn Star Chaucer)   Newcastlemax   208,000   SWS, China   September 2016
12   HN 5055 (tbn Behemoth)   Capesize   182,000   JMU, Japan   January 2016
13   HN 5056 (tbn Megalodon)   Capesize   182,000   JMU, Japan   January 2016
14   HN 1312 (tbn Bruno Marks)   Capesize   180,000   SWS, China   September 2015
15   HN 1313 (tbn Jenmark)   Capesize   180,000   SWS, China   October 2015
16   HN 1338 (tbn Star Aries)   Capesize   180,000   SWS, China   November 2015
17   HN 1339 (tbn Star Taurus)   Capesize   180,000   SWS, China   March 2016
18   HN 1080 (tbn Kennadi)   Ultramax   64,000   New Yangzijiang, China   January 2016
19   HN 1081 (tbn Mackenzie)   Ultramax   64,000   New Yangzijiang, China   February 2016
20   HN 1082 (tbn Night Owl)   Ultramax   64,000   New Yangzijiang, China   March 2016
21   HN 1083 (tbn Early Bird)   Ultramax   64,000   New Yangzijiang, China   April 2016
22   HN NE 196 (tbn Star Antares)   Ultramax   61,000   NACKS, China   October 2015
23   HN NE 197 (tbn Star Lutas)   Ultramax   61,000   NACKS, China   January 2016
24   HN 5040 (tbn Star Aquarius)   Ultramax   60,000   JMU, Japan   September 2015
25   HN 5043 (tbn Star Pisces)   Ultramax   60,000   JMU, Japan   September 2015
        Total dwt:   3,873,000        
                     
 
Third Party Vessel Under Management
             
Drybulk Vessels            
Vessel Name   Type   DWT   Year Built
Serenity I   Supramax   53,688   2006
Total   1   53,688    
             

Recent Developments

1. Update on Financing
At this stage, we have secured financing for 24 out of the 25 newbuilding vessels under construction, and we are currently in the final stages of negotiating the terms for the financing of the newbuilding vessel HN 1343 (tbn Star Leo).

2. Vessel deliveries

a) Delivery of newbuilding vessels:

(i) On April 2, 2015, we took delivery of the Newcastlemax vessel Gargantua (ex-HN 166). The delivery instalment of $37.7 million was partially financed by $32.4 million drawn down under the DNB-SEB-CEXIM $227.5 million term loan facility and the remaining amount was financed by using existing cash.
(ii) On May 27, 2015, we took delivery of the Capesize vessel Deep Blue (ex-HN 5017). The delivery installment of $35.0 million was partially financed by $28.7 million drawn in May, 2015 under the DVB $31.0 million facility.
(iii) On April 7, 2015, we took delivery of the Ultramax vessel Laura (ex -HN 1062), which was subject to a bareboat charter agreement (which we are accounting for as a capital lease) with New YJ Builders.
(iv) On June 26, 2015, we took delivery of the Ultramax vessel Kaley (ex -HN1064), which was subject to a bareboat charter agreement (which we are accounting for as a capital lease) with New YJ Builders.

b) Excel Vessel deliveries: On April 15, 2015, we took delivery of the final Excel Kamsarmax vessel, Star Jennifer (ex Ore Hansa), from Excel Maritime Carriers LLC ("Excel") in exchange for 993,161 of our common shares and $9.2 million in cash, completing the acquisitions of 34 vessels (the "Excel Vessels") from Excel under the transactions announced on August 19, 2014 (the "Excel Transactions").

3. Vessel sales
On April 17, 2015, May 18, 2015 and June 5, 2015 we entered into separate agreements with third parties to sell the vessels Star Big, Star Christianna and Star Mega, at market terms. The vessels were delivered to their new owners on June 4, 2015, June 23, 2015 and June 17, 2015, respectively.

4. Other subsequent events

a) Equity Offering: On May 18, 2015, we completed a public offering of 56,250,000 common shares, at a price of $3.20 per share. The aggregate proceeds, net of placement agent fees and offering expenses, were approximately $176.0 million. The net proceeds from the offering are expected to be used for general corporate purposes. These general corporate purposes may include, among others things, additions to our working capital, capital expenditures (which includes payments under our newbuilding program), repayment of debt or the financing of possible acquisitions and investments. After giving effect to this offering and assuming all 29,917,312 common shares comprising the consideration to Excel in the Excel Transactions (the "Excel Vessel Share Consideration") are distributed by Excel to its equityholders, Oaktree Capital Group Holdings GP, LLC and certain of its advisory clients, Monarch Alternative Capital LP and certain of its advisory clients and affiliates of the family of Mr. Petros Pappas own approximately 52.5%, 5.2%, and 5.8%, respectively, of our outstanding common shares.

First Quarter 2015 and 2014 Results (*)

(*) Amounts relating to variations in period-on-period comparisons shown in this section are derived from the actual numbers in our books and records.

For the first quarter of 2015, total voyage revenues were $45.4 million compared to $19.4 million for the first quarter of 2014. This increase is mainly attributed to the increase of the average number of vessels to 65.1 in the first quarter of 2015, from 15.8 vessels in the first quarter of 2014, as a result of the acquisition of Oceanbulk Carriers LLC and Oceanbulk Shipping LLC (collectively "Oceanbulk"), two ship-owning entities affiliated with the family of Mr. Pappas (the "Pappas Companies"), two vessels from Heron Ventures Ltd. (the "Heron Vessels"), the 33 Excel Vessels and the deliveries of certain of our newbuilding Vessels. The increase in voyage revenues from the additional vessels was offset partially by significantly lower charterhire rates prevailing in the dry bulk market during the first quarter of 2015, compared to the first quarter of 2014.

Management fee income during the first quarter of 2015 was $0.1 million compared to $0.8 million for the first quarter of 2014. This decrease is mainly due to the decrease in the average number of third and related party vessels under management to 1.0 vessel in the first quarter of 2015 from 11.8 vessels in the first quarter of 2014. As a result of the acquisition of Oceanbulk and the Pappas Companies, 11 vessels under our management that were part of the fleet of Oceanbulk became part of our fleet as of July 11, 2014, and we therefore stopped receiving fees for the management of these vessels.

For the first quarter of 2015, operating loss was $33.9 million compared to operating income of $0.6 million for the first quarter of 2014, due primarily to lower charterhire rates for dry bulk carrier vessels.

Net loss for the first quarter of 2015, was $40.2 million, or $0.26 loss per basic and diluted share, calculated on 153,471,655 weighted average number of basic and diluted shares. Net loss for the first quarter of 2014 was $0.9 million, or $0.03 loss per basic and diluted share, based on 28,849,559 weighted average number of basic and diluted shares.

Net loss for the first quarter of 2015 mainly included the following non-cash items:

  • Amortization of fair value of above market acquired time charters of $3.9 million, or $0.03 per basic and diluted share, associated with time charters attached to vessels acquired in the third quarter of 2011 (Star Big and Star Mega), vessels acquired as part of the acquisition of Oceanbulk in July 2014 (Amami and Madredeus) and three Excel Vessels (Christine, Sandra and Lowlands Beilun). These assets are amortized over the respective charter parties' duration as a decrease to voyage revenues;
  • Expenses of $0.9 million, or $0.01 per basic and diluted share, relating to the stock based compensation recognized in connection with the shares issued to our directors and employees;
  • Impairment loss of $1.1 million, or $0.01 per basic and diluted share relating to vessel Star Monika following her classification as held for sale as of March 31, 2015 (delivered to her new owners on April 7, 2015);
  • Write off of above market acquired time charter of $2.1 million, or $0.01 per basic and diluted share, relating to the write-off of the unamortized fair value of the above market acquired time charter of Star Big on vessel's redelivery, which took place in connection with its sale and delivery to her new owners on June 4, 2015;
  • Loss on sale of vessels of $2.1 million, or $0.01 per basic and diluted share, relating to the sale of vessels Star Kim, Star Julia, Star Tatianna and Rodon, which were delivered to their new owners during the first quarter of 2015;
  • Equity in income of investee of $0.2 million, or $0.001 per basic and diluted share

Excluding these non-cash items, net loss for the first quarter of 2015 would have been $30.3 million, or $0.20 loss, per basic and diluted share, based on 153,471,655 weighted average number of basic and diluted shares.

Net loss for the first quarter of 2014 includes the following non-cash items:

  • Amortization of fair value of above market acquired time charters of $1.6 million, or $0.05 per basic and diluted share, associated with time charters attached to vessels acquired in the third quarter of 2011 (Star Big and Star Mega), which are amortized over their remaining period as a decrease to voyage revenues.
  • Expenses of $0.9 million, or $0.03 per basic and diluted share, relating to the amortization of stock based compensation recognized in connection with the shares issued to directors and employees.
  • Unrealized loss of $0.2 million, or $0.01 per basic and diluted share, in connection with the mark to market valuation of our derivatives, which had not been designated as cash flow hedges.

Excluding these non-cash items, net income for the first quarter of 2014 would have been $1.7 million, or $0.06 earnings per basic and diluted share, based on 28,849,559 weighted average number of basic and diluted shares.

Adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter of 2015 and 2014, excluding the above items, was $(5.6) million and $7.8 million, respectively. A reconciliation of EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA to net cash provided by cash flows from operating activities is set forth below.

We owned and operated an average of 65.1 and 15.8 vessels during the first quarter of 2015 and 2014, respectively, which earned an average Time Charter Equivalent, or ("TCE") daily rate of $6,866 and $14,343, respectively. We refer you to footnote 8under the heading "Summary of Selected Data" set forth below for information regarding our calculation of TCE rates.

For the first quarter of 2015, voyage expenses were $17.7 million, compared to $2.4 million for the first quarter of 2014. The increase in voyage expenses was due to the increase in the average number of vessels in the first quarter of 2015, as a result of the acquisition of Oceanbulk, the Pappas Companies, the two Heron Vessels, the Excel Vessels and the deliveries of certain of our newbuilding vessels as well as the increased level of spot market activity, which are associated with higher voyage expenses than time charters.

For the first quarter of 2015 and 2014, vessel operating expenses totalled $27.8 million and $8.0 million, respectively. The increase in operating expenses is mainly due to higher average number of vessels in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the first quarter of 2014. Our average daily operating expenses per vessel for the first quarter of 2015 were $4,739, compared to $5,629 during the first quarter of 2014, representing a 16% reduction as a result of synergies and economies of scale from operating a larger fleet. In addition, vessel operating expenses for the first quarter of 2015 and 2014 include $1.8 million and $0.4 million, respectively, of one time pre-delivery and pre-joining expenses incurred in connection with the delivery of the new vessels in our fleet during each period. Pre-joining and pre-delivery expenses relate to the expenses for the initial crew manning, as well as the initial supply of stores for the vessel upon delivery. Excluding this amount, our average daily operating expenses per vessel for the first quarter of 2015 and 2014 were $4,439, versus $5,342 during the first quarter of 2014, representing a 17% reduction.

Dry docking expenses for the first quarter of 2015 and 2014 were $2.9 million and $0.7 million, respectively. During the first quarter of 2015, five of our vessels (consisting of three Supramax, one Capesize and one Kamsarmax), underwent their periodic dry docking surveys. During the first quarter of 2014, only one Supramax vessel underwent its periodic dry docking survey, resulting in $0.5 million of dry docking cost for this vessel in such period.

Depreciation expense increased to $18.3 million for the first quarter of 2015, compared to $4.7 million for the first quarter of 2014. The increase was due to the higher average number of vessels in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the first quarter of 2014, offset partially by an increase in the estimated scrap rate per light weight ton from $200 to $300, effective as of January 1, 2015, following management's reassessment based on the historical average demolition prices prevailing in the market.

Management fees for the first quarter 2015 were $2.0 million. As of January 1, 2015, we engaged Ship Procurement Services S.A. ("SPS"), an unaffiliated third party company, to provide to our fleet certain procurement services at a daily fee of $295 per vessel, which is designed to approximate the cost of providing such services to us. SPS will offer procurement services to a potential fleet of approximately 140 vessels, including those of a product tanker company and a containership company (each of which is controlled by affiliates of Mr. Pappas and of Oaktree) as well as ours, which we expect will allow us to benefit from synergies created by SPS through economies of scale on the operating expenses and the dry docking costs of the vessels. In addition, three of the Excel Vessels (Christine, Sandra and Lowlands Beilun), which were acquired with attached time charters, are managed by Maryville Maritime Inc. ("Maryville") until the expirations of their existing time charter agreements (two of which expire in August and one in October 2015) at a monthly fee of $17,500 per vessel.

General and administrative expenses during the first quarter of 2015 increased to $5.6 million compared to $3.8 million during the first quarter of 2014. This increase was mainly due to a 76% increase in our average number of employees during the first quarter of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014, due to the increased number of vessels. Our average daily net cash general and administrative expenses per vessel for the first quarter of 2015 were $1,130 compared to $1,473 during the first quarter of 2014, representing 23% reduction, as a result of synergies and economies of scale from operating a larger fleet.

On March 16, 2015, we entered into an agreement with a third party to sell the vessel Star Monika, which was delivered to her new owners on April 7, 2015. As of March 31, 2015, the vessel met the criteria for classification as held for sale and we recognized an impairment loss of $1.1 million in the first quarter of 2015.

During the first quarter of 2015, we recognized a $2.1 million write-off of the unamortized fair value of the above market acquired time charter of Star Big due to its redelivery prior to the end of its time charter in connection with its sale and delivery to its new owners in June 2015.

For the first quarter of 2015, other operational gain was $0.04 million. For the first quarter of 2014, other operational gain was $0.2 million, representing gain from a hull and machinery claim.

During the first quarter of 2015 we sold the vessels Star Kim, Star Julia, Star Tatianna and Rodon and recognized a loss in connection with the sales of $2.1 million, in aggregate.

Interest and finance costs for the first quarter of 2015 and 2014 were $6.4 million and $1.4 million, respectively. The increase is attributable to the higher average balance of our outstanding indebtedness of $860.8 million for the first quarter of 2015, including $50.0 million under the 8.00% Senior Notes and $41.3 million under capital lease obligations, compared to $213.0 million for the first quarter of 2014. In addition, for the first quarter of 2015, interest and finance costs included $1.1 million representing realized loss on interest rate swaps. No interest swap loss was included in interest and finance costs for the first quarter of 2014, since at that time our interest rate swap agreements were not in effect. Interest and finance costs for the first quarter of 2015 and 2014 also included interest capitalized from general debt of $3.4 million and $0.6 million, respectively, in connection with the payments made for our newbuilding vessels.

During the first quarter of 2015, we recorded $0.5 million of loss on debt extinguishment, in connection with the non-cash write off of unamortized deferred finance charges due to the prepayment in full in January 2015, the then outstanding amount of $18.7 million bridge facility that was extended by affiliates of the owners of Excel Maritime (including affiliates of Oaktree) in order to finance, in part, our acquisition of the Excel Vessels (the "Excel Vessel Bridge Facility").

During the first quarter of 2014, we recorded a loss on derivative financial instrument of $0.2 million in connection with the mark to market valuation of our derivatives, which at that time had not been designated as cash flow hedges. Effective August 31, 2014, we designated all of our interest rate swaps as cash flow hedges and any change in the fair value of these swaps, after the hedging designation is recorded in equity to the extent these hedges were effective. As a result, no loss was recorded in the first quarter of 2015, since our interest rate swaps were effective as cash flow hedges.

Liquidity and Capital Resources

Cash Flows
Net cash used in operating activities for the first quarter of 2015 was $8.6 million. Net cash provided by operating activities for the first quarter of 2014 was $1.5 million. The TCE rate for the first quarter of 2015 and 2014 was $6,866 and $14,343, respectively.

Net cash used in investing activities for the first quarter of 2015 and 2014 was $147.8 million and $75.7 million, respectively.

For the first quarter of 2015, net cash used in investing activities consisted of:

  • $90.9 million paid for advances and other capitalized expenses for our newbuilding vessels,
  • $43.4 million paid for the two newbuilding vessels delivered (Roberta and Idee Fixe), which are subject to bareboat charters, which we are accounting for as capital leases,
  • $30.3 million paid for the acquisition of five of the Excel Vessels, and
  • a net increase of $0.1 million in restricted cash,

offset by:

  • $16.9 million of proceeds from the sale of Star Kim, Star Julia, Star Tatianna and Rodon and the advance received for the sale of Star Monika, which was completed in April 2015.

For the first quarter of 2014, net cash used in investing activities included:

  • $12.7 million paid for advances and other capitalized expenses for our newbuilding vessels,
  • $60.3 million paid for the acquisition of secondhand vessels and other fixed assets, and
  • a net increase of $3.1 million in restricted cash,

offset by:

  • $0.3 million of hull and machinery insurance proceeds.

Net cash provided by financing activities for the first quarter of 2015 and 2014 was $282.8 million and $68.6 million, respectively.

For the first quarter of 2015, net cash provided by financing activities consisted of:

  • proceeds from bank loans and the Excel Vessel Bridge Facility for an aggregate of $114.6 million for the financing of: (a) delivery installments for two of our newbuilding vessels which were delivered in February 2015, (b) cash consideration for the acquisition of five remaining Excel Vessels and (c) the repayment in full of the Excel Vessel Bridge Facility,
  • capital lease obligations of $41.4 million, relating to two newbuildings delivered in March 2015, under bareboat charters, and
  • proceeds from a public offering of our common shares, net of underwriting discounts and commissions amounting to $242.2 million less offering expenses of $0.5 million

offset by:

  • financing fees paid of $4.5 million and
  • an aggregate of $110.3 million paid in connection with regular amortization of outstanding vessel financings, capital lease installments and the repayment in full of the Excel Vessel Bridge Facility.

For the first quarter of 2014, net cash provided by financing activities consisted of:

  • proceeds from bank loans of $74.0 million

offset by:

  • loan installment payments of $4.5 million and
  • $0.9 million of financing fees paid.
 
Summary of Selected Data
         
(TCE rates expressed in U.S. dollars)        
    Three months ended   Three months ended
    March 31, 2015   March 31, 2014
Average number of vessels (1)   65.1   15.8
Number of vessels (2)   68   17
Average age of operational fleet (in years) (3)   8.5   9.0
Ownership days (4)   5,863   1,422
Available days (5)   5,759   1,403
Voyage days for fleet (6)   4,602   1,290
Fleet utilization (7)   79.9%   91.9%
Average per-day TCE rate (8)   $6,866   $14,343
Average per day OPEX per vessel (9)   $4,739   $5,629
Average daily Net Cash G&A expenses per vessel (10)   $1,130   $1,473
         

(1) Average number of vessels is the number of vessels that constituted our fleet for the relevant period, as measured by the sum of the number of days each vessel was a part of our fleet during the period divided by the number of calendar days in that period.
(2) As of the last day of the periods reported.
(3) Average age of operational fleet is calculated as of March 31, 2015 and 2014, respectively.
(4) Ownership days are the total calendar days each vessel in the fleet was owned by us
for the relevant period.
(5) Available days for the fleet are the ownership days after subtracting off-hire days for major repairs, dry docking or special or intermediate surveys.
(6) Voyage days are the total days the vessels were in our possession for the relevant period after subtracting off-hire days incurred for any reason (including off-hire for major repairs, dry docking, special or intermediate surveys). 
(7) Fleet utilization is calculated by dividing voyage days by available days for the relevant period. Ballast days for which a charter is not fixed are not included in the voyage days for the fleet utilization calculation. 
(8) Represents the weighted average daily TCE rates of our entire fleet. TCE rate is a measure of the average daily revenue performance of a vessel on a per voyage basis. Our method of calculating TCE rate is determined by dividing voyage revenues (net of voyage expenses and amortization of fair value of above/below market acquired time charter agreements) by voyage days for the relevant time period. Voyage expenses primarily consist of port, canal and fuel costs that are unique to a particular voyage, which would otherwise be paid by the charterer under a time charter contract, as well as commissions. TCE rate is a standard shipping industry performance measure used primarily to compare period-to-period changes in a shipping company's performance despite changes in the mix of charter types (i.e., spot charters, time charters and bareboat charters) under its vessels may be employed between the periods. We included TCE revenues, a non- GAAP measure, as it provides additional meaningful information in conjunction with voyage revenues, the most directly comparable GAAP measure, and it assists our management in making decisions regarding the deployment and use of our vessels and in evaluating our financial performance.
(9) Average daily OPEX per vessel is calculated by dividing vessel operating expenses by ownership days.
(10) Average daily Net Cash G&A expenses per vessel is calculated by deducting Management fee Income and adding the Management fee expense in General and Administrative expenses (net of stock based compensation expense) and then dividing with the ownership days.

 
Unaudited Consolidated Statement of Operations
             
(Expressed in thousands of U.S. dollars except for share and per share data)   Three months ended
March 31, 2015
    Three months ended
March 31, 2014
 
                 
                 
Revenues:                
Voyage Revenues   $ 45,433     $ 19,381  
Management Fee Income     68       798  
Total revenues     45,501       20,179  
                 
Expenses:                
Voyage expenses     (17,746 )     (2,445 )
Vessel operating expenses     (27,783 )     (8,005 )
Dry-docking expenses     (2,866 )     (690 )
Depreciation     (18,284 )     (4,679 )
Management fees     (1,989 )     -  
General and administrative expenses     (5,563 )     (3,790 )
Vessel impairment loss     (1,080 )     -  
Write off of the unamortized fair value of above market acquired time charter     (2,114 )     -  
Other operational gain     40       169  
Other operational loss     -       (90 )
Loss on sale of vessel     (2,053 )     -  
                 
Operating income / (loss)     (33,937 )     649  
                 
Interest and finance costs     (6,432 )     (1,363 )
Interest and other income     538       (11 )
Loss on debt extinguishment     (524 )     -  
Loss on derivative financial instruments     -       (158 )
Total other expenses, net     (6,418 )     (1,532 )
                 
Loss before equity in investee     (40,355 )     (883 )
                 
Equity in income of investee     179       5  
                 
Net Loss   $ (40,176 )   $ (878 )
                 
Loss per share, basic and diluted   $ (0.26 )   $ (0.03 )
Weighted average number of shares outstanding, basic and diluted     153,471,655       28,849,559  
                 
         
Unaudited Consolidated Condensed Balance Sheets  
(Expressed in thousands of U.S. dollars)  
   
ASSETS March 31,
2015
  December 31,
2014
 
Cash and restricted cash $ 215,976   $ 89,352  
Other current assets   43,487     45,078  
TOTAL CURRENT ASSETS   259,463     134,430  
             
Advances for vessels under construction and acquisition of vessels and other assets   400,637     454,612  
Vessels and other fixed assets, net   1,631,259     1,441,851  
Long-term investment   813     634  
Restricted cash   10,620     10,620  
Fair value of above market acquired time charter   5,884     11,908  
Other non-current assets   12,642     8,029  
TOTAL ASSETS $ 2,321,318   $ 2,062,084  
             
Current portion of long-term debt (including Excel Vessels Brigde Facility) $ 123,545   $ 96,485  
Lease commitments current   2,260     -  
Other current liabilities   40,054     43,713  
TOTAL CURRENT LIABILITIES   165,859     140,198  
             
Long-term debt (including Excel Vessel Bridge Facility)   692,624     715,308  
8% Senior Notes due 2019   50,000     50,000  
Lease commitments non-current   39,020     -  
Other non-current liabilities   5,325     2,276  
TOTAL LIABILITIES $ 952,828   $ 907,782  
             
STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY   1,368,490     1,154,302  
             
TOTAL LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY $ 2,321,318   $ 2,062,084  
             
 
Unaudited Cash Flow Data
             
(Expressed in thousands of U.S. dollars) Three months ended
March 31, 2015
  Three months ended
March 31, 2014
 
             
Net cash (used in)/provided by operating activities $ (8,594 ) $ 1,502  
             
Net cash used in investing activities   (147,769 )   (75,741 )
             
Net cash provided by financing activities   282,848     68,627  
             

EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA Reconciliation

We consider EBITDA to represent net income before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization. EBITDA does not represent and should not be considered as an alternative to net income or cash flow from operations, as determined by United States generally accepted accounting principles, or U.S. GAAP, and our calculation of EBITDA may not be comparable to that reported by other companies. EBITDA is included herein because it is a basis upon which we assess our liquidity position, it is used by our lenders as a measure of our compliance with certain loan covenants and because we believe that it presents useful information to investors regarding our ability to service and/or incur indebtedness.

We excluded non-cash gains/losses related to sale of vessels, the change in fair value of derivatives, stock-based compensation expense, loss on sales of vessels, the write off of the unamortized fair value of above market acquired time charters, vessel impairment losses and the equity in income of investee to derive adjusted EBITDA. We excluded the above non-cash items and one-time items to derive adjusted EBITDA, because we believe that these items do not reflect the operational cash inflows and outflows of our fleet.

The following table reconciles net cash provided by operating activities to EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA:

             
(Expressed in thousands of U.S. dollars   Three months ended
March 31, 2015
    Three months ended
March 31, 2014
 
Net cash (used in) / provided by operating activities   $ (8,594 )   $ 1,502  
Net (increase) / decrease in current assets     (5,445 )     6,237  
Net increase / (decrease) in operating liabilities, excluding current portion of long term debt     3,050       (1,358 )
Vessel impairment loss     (1,080 )     -  
Loss on debt extinguishment     (524 )     -  
Stock - based compensation     (858 )     (897 )
Unrealized gains/losses on derivative instruments and change in accrued derivative interest     (37 )     (158 )
Total other expenses, net     5,912       1,246  
Loss on sale of vessel     (2,053 )     -  
Write off of the unamortized fair value of above market acquired time charter     (2,114 )     -  
Gain from Hull & Machinery claim     -       169  
Equity in income of investee     179       -  
EBITDA   $ (11,564 )   $ 6,741  
Less:                
Equity in income of investee     (179 )     -  
Plus:                
Change in fair value of derivatives before hedging designation     -       158  
Stock-based compensation     858       897  
Loss on sale of vessel     2,053       -  
Write off of the unamortized fair value of above market acquired time charter     2,114       -  
Vessel impairment loss     1,080       -  
Adjusted EBITDA   $ (5,638 )   $ 7,796  
                 

Conference Call details:

Our management team will host a conference call to discuss our financial results on Wednesday, July 1st at 11 a.m., Eastern Time (ET).

Participants should dial into the call 10 minutes before the scheduled time using the following numbers: 1(866) 819-7111 (from the US), 0(800) 953-0329 (from the UK) or + (44) (0) 1452 542 301 (from outside the US). Please quote "Star Bulk."

A replay of the conference call will be available until July 8, 2015. The United States replay number is 1(866) 247-4222; from the UK 0(800) 953-1533; the standard international replay number is (+44) (0) 1452 550 000 and the access code required for the replay is: 3128607#.

Slides and audio webcast:

There will also be a simultaneous live webcast over the Internet, through the Star Bulk website (www.starbulk.com). Participants to the live webcast should register on the website approximately 10 minutes prior to the start of the webcast.

About Star Bulk

Star Bulk is a global shipping company providing worldwide seaborne transportation solutions in the dry bulk sector. Star Bulk's vessels transport major bulks, which include iron ore, coal and grain and minor bulks which include bauxite, fertilizers and steel products. Star Bulk was incorporated in the Marshall Islands on December 13, 2006 and maintains executive offices in Athens, Greece. Its common stock trades on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol "SBLK". On a fully delivered basis, Star Bulk will have a fleet of 94 vessels, with an aggregate capacity of 11.0 million dwt, consisting of Newcastlemax, Capesize, Post Panamax, Kamsarmax, Panamax, Ultramax, Supramax and Handymax vessels with carrying capacities between 45,588 dwt and 209,529 dwt. Our fleet currently includes 69 operating vessels and 25 newbuilding vessels under construction at shipyards in Japan and China. All of the newbuilding vessels are expected to be delivered during 2015 and 2016.

Forward-Looking Statements
Matters discussed in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides safe harbor protections for forward-looking statements in order to encourage companies to provide prospective information about their business. Forward-looking statements include statements concerning plans, objectives, goals, strategies, future events or performance, and underlying assumptions and other statements, which are other than statements of historical facts.

The Company desires to take advantage of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and is including this cautionary statement in connection with this safe harbor legislation. The words "believe," "anticipate," "intends," "estimate," "forecast," "project," "plan," "potential," "may," "should," "expect," "pending" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements.

The forward-looking statements in this press release are based upon various assumptions, many of which are based, in turn, upon further assumptions, including without limitation, examination by the Company's management of historical operating trends, data contained in its records and other data available from third parties. Although the Company believes that these assumptions were reasonable when made, because these assumptions are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies which are difficult or impossible to predict and are beyond the Company's control, the Company cannot assure you that it will achieve or accomplish these expectations, beliefs or projections.

In addition to these important factors, other important factors that, in the Company's view, could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include general dry bulk shipping market conditions, including fluctuations in charterhire rates and vessel values, the strength of world economies the stability of Europe and the Euro, fluctuations in interest rates and foreign exchange rates, changes in demand in the dry bulk shipping industry, including the market for our vessels, changes in our operating expenses, including bunker prices, dry docking and insurance costs, changes in governmental rules and regulations or actions taken by regulatory authorities, potential liability from pending or future litigation, general domestic and international political conditions, potential disruption of shipping routes due to accidents or political events, the availability of financing and refinancing, our ability to meet requirements for additional capital and financing to complete our newbuilding program and grow our business, vessel breakdowns and instances of off‐hire, risks associated with vessel construction, potential exposure or loss from investment in derivative instruments, potential conflicts of interest involving our Chief Executive Officer, his family and other members of our senior management, and our ability to complete acquisition transactions as planned. Please see our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a more complete discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties. The information set forth herein speaks only as of the date hereof, and the Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update any forward‐looking statements as a result of developments occurring after the date of this communication.

Contact Information

  • Contacts

    Company:
    Simos Spyrou, Christos Begleris
    Co ‐ Chief Financial Officers
    Star Bulk Carriers Corp.
    c/o Star Bulk Management Inc.
    40 Ag. Konstantinou Av.
    Maroussi 15124
    Athens, Greece
    Email: info@starbulk.com
    www.starbulk.com

    Investor Relations / Financial Media:
    Nicolas Bornozis
    President
    Capital Link, Inc.
    230 Park Avenue, Suite 1536
    New York, NY 10169
    Tel. (212) 661‐7566
    E‐mail: starbulk@capitallink.com
    www.capitallink.com