Star Bulk Carriers Corp. Reports Financial Results for the Fourth Quarter and Year Ended December 31, 2018

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ATHENS, Greece, Feb. 11, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Star Bulk Carriers Corp. (the "Company" or "Star Bulk") (Nasdaq and Oslo: SBLK), a global shipping company focusing on the transportation of dry bulk cargoes, today announced its unaudited financial and operating results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2018.

During the fourth quarter of 2018, we repurchased 341,363 of our common shares in open market transactions at an average price of $9.17 for aggregate consideration of $3.1 million, pursuant to the previously announced share repurchase program. All the repurchased shares were canceled and removed from our share capital on January 3, 2019. Following the deliveries of the last two vessels purchased from E.R. Capital Holding GmbH & Cie. KG and the cancelation of the repurchased shares, we have 93,285,322 common shares issued and outstanding as of the date of this release.

As of today, we have fixed employment for approximately 70% of the days in Q1 2019 at average TCE rates of $12,954 per day.

More specifically:

Capesize / Newcastlemax Vessels: approximately 68% of Q1 2019 days at $16,223 per day.

Post Panamax / Kamsarmax / Panamax Vessels: approximately 69% of Q1 2019 days at $11,792 per day.

Ultramax / Supramax Vessels: approximately 75% of Q1 2019 days at $11,306 per day.

Voyage revenues for the fourth quarter of 2018 increased to $209.4 million from $107.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. Adjusted time charter equivalent revenues (“Adjusted TCE Revenues”) (please see the table at the end of this release for the calculation of the Adjusted TCE Revenues) were $136.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2018, compared to $90.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2017. Adjusted TCE Revenues were primarily increased as a result of an increase in the average number of vessels in our fleet to 106.4 in the fourth quarter of 2018, up from 70.6 in the fourth quarter of 2017. The TCE rates for the fourth quarter of 2018 and 2017 were $14,140 and $13,860, respectively.

Absent the adoption of the new revenue recognition standard (ASC 606) in January 2018, which has no effect on prior year figures, our TCE rate for the fourth quarter of 2018 would have been $14,018.

For the fourth quarter of 2018, operating income was $33.9 million, which includes depreciation of $30.8 million and impairment loss of $17.8 million, as discussed below. Operating income of $37.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2017 included depreciation of $21.1 million. Depreciation increased during the fourth quarter of 2018 due to a higher average number of vessels in our fleet as described above.

Net income for the fourth quarter of 2018 was $12.3 million, or $0.13 earnings per share, basic and diluted, based on 92,457,989 weighted average basic shares and 92,515,671 weighted average diluted shares, respectively. Net income for the fourth quarter of 2017 was $23.9 million, or $0.37 income per share, basic and diluted, based on 64,080,657 weighted average basic shares and 64,259,874 weighted average diluted shares, respectively.

Net income for the fourth quarter of 2018, included the following significant non-cash items, other than depreciation expense:

Net income for the fourth quarter of 2017, included the following significant non-cash items, other than depreciation expense:

Adjusted net income for the fourth quarter of 2018, was $30.3 million, or $0.33 earnings per share, basic and diluted, compared to adjusted net income of $21.5 million, or $0.34 earnings per share, basic and diluted, for the fourth quarter of 2017. A reconciliation of to and is set forth in the financial tables contained in this release.

Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarters of 2018 and 2017, was $82.4 million and $55.7 million, respectively. A reconciliation of is set forth in the financial tables contained in this release.

For the fourth quarters of 2018 and 2017, vessel operating expenses were $38.5 million and $25.4 million, respectively. This increase was primarily due to the increase in the average number of vessels to 106.4 from 70.6. Vessel operating expenses for the fourth quarter of 2017 included pre-delivery and pre-joining expenses of $0.4 million while during the fourth quarter of 2018 no significant pre-delivery and pre-joining expenses were incurred. Excluding these expenses, our average daily operating expenses per vessel for the fourth quarter of 2018 and 2017, were $3,938 and $3,850, respectively.

During the fourth quarter of 2018, five of our vessels underwent their periodic dry docking surveys, resulting in $3.1 million of dry docking expense. During the fourth quarter of 2017, none of our vessels underwent their periodic dry docking surveys, but we incurred expenses of $0.4 million in connection with upcoming dry dockings.

General and administrative expenses for the fourth quarters of 2018 and 2017 were $7.2 million and $5.9 million, respectively. The formation of our new subsidiary, Star Logistics, and the increase of the number of our employees due to the recent expansion of our fleet that occurred in the third quarter of 2018 compared to the corresponding period in 2017, resulted in higher payroll cost in the fourth quarter of 2018. In addition, general and administrative expenses increased as a result of the listing of our common shares on the Oslo Stock Exchange. Our average daily net cash general and administrative expenses per vessel together with management fees for the fourth quarter of 2018 were reduced to $969 from $1,094 during the fourth quarter of 2017 (please see the table at the end of this release for the calculation of the Average daily Net Cash G&A expenses per vessel).

Charter-in hire expense for the fourth quarters of 2018 and 2017 was $25.0 million and $3.1 million, respectively. The increase is due to increased charter in days of 1,493 in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to 197 in the fourth quarter of 2017. In both quarters, the charter in days are attributable to the activities of our subsidiary Star Logistics, which was formed in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Management fees for the fourth quarters of 2018 and 2017 were $4.0 million and $1.9 million, respectively. The increase is attributable to the new management agreements entered into in connection with the acquired fleets during the third quarter of 2018.

Interest and finance costs net of interest and other income/ (loss) for the fourth quarters of 2018 and 2017 were $21.2 million and $12.6 million, respectively. The increase is attributable to the increase in (i) LIBOR between the corresponding periods and (ii) the weighted average balance of our outstanding indebtedness of $1,447.6 million during the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to $1,043.2 million for the same period in 2017.

Voyage revenues for the year ended December 31, 2018 increased to $651.6 million from $332.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2017. Adjusted TCE Revenues (please see the table at the end of this release for the calculation of the Adjusted TCE Revenues) were $435.2 million, compared to $262.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2017. This increase was primarily attributable to the significant rise in charter hire rates, which led to a TCE rate of $13,768 for the year ended December 31, 2018, compared to a TCE rate of $10,393 for the year ended December 31, 2017, representing a 32% increase. Adjusted TCE Revenues also increased as a result of an increase in the average number of vessels in our fleet to 87.7 in the year ended December 31, 2018, up from 69.6 in the year ended December 31, 2017 following the previously announced fleet acquisitions during the third quarter of 2018.

Absent the adoption of the new revenue recognition standard (ASC 606) in January 2018, which has no effect to prior year figures, our TCE rate for the year ended December 31, 2018 would have been $13,772.

For the year ended December 31, 2018, operating income was $131.9 million, which includes depreciation of $102.9 million and impairment loss of $17.8 million. Operating income of $38.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2017 included depreciation of $82.6 million. Depreciation increased during the year ended December 31, 2018 due to a higher average number of vessels in our fleet, as described above.

Net income for the year ended December 31, 2018 was $59.0 million, or $0.77 earnings per share, basic and $0.76 earnings per share, diluted, based on 77,061,227 weighted average basic shares and 77,326,111 weighted average diluted shares, respectively. Net loss for the year ended December 31, 2017 was $9.8 million, or $0.16 loss per share, basic and diluted, based on 63,034,394 weighted average basic and diluted shares.

Net income for the year ended December 31, 2018 included the following significant non-cash items, other than depreciation expense:

Net loss for the year ended December 31, 2017, included the following significant non-cash items, other than depreciation expense:

Adjusted net income for the year ended December 31, 2018 was $86.1 million, or $1.12 earnings per share, basic and $1.11 earnings per share, diluted, compared to adjusted net loss of $4.3 million, or $0.07 loss per share, basic and diluted, for the year ended December 31, 2017. A reconciliation of to and is set forth in the financial tables contained in this release.

Adjusted EBITDA for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017 was $260.9 million and $128.0 million, respectively. A reconciliation of is set forth in the financial tables contained in this release.

For the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017, vessel operating expenses were $128.9 million and $101.4 million, respectively. This increase was primarily due to the increase in the average number of vessels to 87.7 from 69.6. Vessel operating expenses for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017 include pre-delivery and pre-joining expenses of $1.1 million and $2.3 million, respectively, incurred in connection with the delivery of the new vessels in our fleet during each period. Excluding these expenses, our average daily operating expenses per vessel for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017, were $3,994 and $3,906, respectively.

Dry docking expenses for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017 were $9.0 million and $4.3 million, respectively. During the year ended December 31, 2018, eight of our vessels underwent and seven of them completed their periodic dry docking surveys during the same period. During the year ended December 31, 2017, four vessels underwent and completed their periodic dry docking surveys.

General and administrative expenses for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017 were $34.0 million and $31.0 million, respectively. The formation of our new subsidiary, Star Logistics, the increase of the number of our employees due to the recent expansion of our fleet and a higher USD/EUR exchange rate during the year ended December 31, 2018 resulted in higher payroll cost compared to the corresponding period in 2017. In addition, general and administrative expenses increased as a result of the listing of our common shares on the Oslo Stock Exchange. Our average daily net cash general and administrative expenses per vessel together with management fees for the year ended December 31, 2018 were reduced to $1,004 from $1,094, during the corresponding period in 2017 (please see the table at the end of this release for the calculation of the Average daily Net Cash G&A expenses per vessel).

Charter-in hire expense for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017 was $92.9 million and $5.3 million, respectively. The increase in charter-in hire expense was due to an increase in charter-in days to 5,089 in the year ended December 31, 2018 (attributable to the activities of our new subsidiary Star Logistics, which was created in the fourth quarter of 2017) from 428 in the year ended December 31, 2017 (attributable to the charter-in of the vessel and Star Logistics).

Management fees for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017 were $11.3 million and $7.5 million, respectively. The increase is attributable to the new management agreements entered into in connection with the acquired fleets during the third quarter of 2018.

Interest and finance costs net of interest and other income/ (loss) for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017 were $71.8 million and $47.5 million, respectively. The increase is mainly attributable to the increase in (i) the weighted average balance of our outstanding indebtedness of $1,234.6 million during the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to $1,027.1 million for the same period in 2017 and (ii) LIBOR between the corresponding periods.

The positive change was due to the significant recovery of the dry bulk market during the year ended December 31, 2018, which resulted in a significantly higher TCE rate of $13,768 compared to $10,393 for the year ended December 31, 2017. The increase in TCE rates as well as the increase in the average number of vessels in our fleet is reflected in the increase of Adjusted EBITDA to $260.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2018 from $128.0 million for the corresponding period in 2017. This positive effect was partially offset by (i) a net working capital outflow of $20.9 million during the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to a net working capital inflow of $1.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2017 and (ii) by higher net interest expense for the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to the corresponding period in 2017.

For the year ended December 31, 2018, net cash used in investing activities mainly consisted of $330.5 million paid for advances and other capitalized expenses for our newbuilding and newly acquired vessels delivered during the period as well as for the acquisition and installation of scrubber equipment for certain of our vessels, offset partially by hull and machinery insurance proceeds of $3.3 million.

For the year ended December 31, 2017, net cash used in investing activities consisted of:

For the year ended December 31, 2018, net cash provided by financing activities mainly consisted of:

For the year ended December 31, 2017, net cash provided by financing activities consisted of:

 

We include EBITDA herein since it is a basis upon which we assess our liquidity position. It is also used by our lenders as a measure of our compliance with certain loan covenants and we believe that it presents useful information to investors regarding our ability to service and/or incur indebtedness.

EBITDA does not represent and should not be considered as an alternative to cash flow from operating activities or net income, 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 due to differences in methods of calculation.

To derive Adjusted EBITDA from EBITDA, we excluded non-cash gains/losses such as those related to sale of vessels, stock-based compensation expense the write-off of the unamortized fair value of above/below market acquired time charters, impairment losses, the write-off of claims receivable and loss from bad debt, change in fair value of forward freight agreements and bunker swaps, provision for onerous contracts, and the equity in income/(loss) of investee, if any, which may vary from period to period and for different companies and because these items do not reflect operational cash inflows and outflows of our fleet.

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

To derive Adjusted Net Income and Adjusted Earnings/(Loss) Per Share from Net Income, we excluded non-cash items, as provided in the table below. We believe that Adjusted Net Income and Adjusted Earnings/(Loss) Per Share assist our management and investors by increasing the comparability of our performance from period to period since each such measure eliminates the effects of such non-cash items as gain/(loss) on sale of assets, gain/(loss) on derivatives, impairment losses and other items which may vary from year to year, are not part of our daily business and derive from reasons unrelated to overall operating performance. In addition we believe that the presentation of the respective measure provides investors with supplemental data relating to our results of operations; and therefore with a more complete understanding of factors affecting our business than GAAP measures alone. Our method of computing Adjusted Net Income and Adjusted Earnings/ (Loss) Per Share may not necessarily be comparable to other similarly titled captions of other companies due to differences in methods of calculation.

The following table reconciles Net income / (loss) to Adjusted Net income / (loss):

Our management team will host a conference call to discuss our financial results on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at 11:00 a.m., Eastern Time (ET).

Participants should dial into the call 10 minutes before the scheduled time using the following numbers: 1(877) 553-9962 (from the US), 0(808) 238-0069 (from the UK) or + (44) (0) 2071 928 592 (Standard International Dial In). Please quote "Star Bulk."

A replay of the conference call will be available until Wednesday, February 19, 2019. The United States replay number is 1(866) 331-1332; from the UK 0(808) 238-0667; the standard international replay number is (+44) (0) 3333 009 785 and the access code required for the replay is: 3128607#.

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.

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, Oslo, New York, Cyprus and Geneva. Its common stock trades on the Nasdaq Global Select Market and on the Oslo Stock Exchange under the symbol “SBLK”. On a fully delivered basis, Star Bulk will have a fleet of 111 vessels, with an aggregate capacity of 12.67 million dwt, consisting of 17 Newcastlemax, 20 Capesize, 2 Mini Capesize, 7 Post Panamax, 35 Kamsarmax, 2 Panamax, 17 Ultramax and 11 Supramax vessels with carrying capacities between 52,055 dwt and 209,537 dwt. Where we refer to information on a “fully delivered basis,” we are referring to such information after giving effect to the delivery of three newbuilding vessels The Company also holds call options and has sold respective put options on four Capesize vessels, with exercise dates in early April 2019.

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; the impact of the level of our indebtedness and the restrictions in our debt agreements; 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.

Nicolas BornozisPresidentCapital Link, Inc.230 Park Avenue, Suite 1536New York, NY 10169Tel. (212) 661‐7566E‐mail:  

 

 

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Globe Newswire: 21:34 GMT Monday 11th February 2019

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