Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd. declared mixed financial results for the first quarter of 2012. GAAP net loss in the reported quarter was $36.6 million or a loss of 42 cents per share compared with a net loss of $1 million or 1 cent per share in the year-ago quarter. However, quarterly adjusted (excluding special-items) earnings per share of a loss of 41 cents were higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 37 cents.
Quarterly total revenue was $65 million compared with $98.1 million in the prior-year quarter. This massive decline was primarily attributable to an extremely volatile freight environment of the global drybulk shipping industry. Nevertheless, quarterly Voyage revenue of approximately $64.1 million beats the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $61 million. In the reported quarter, Time Charter Equivalent (TCE) per day was $14,048 compared with $19,642 in the prior-year quarter.
Quarterly total operating expenses were nearly $82.4 million, down 10.9% year over year. Operating loss in the reported quarter was $17.4 million compared with an operating income of $7 million in the year-ago quarter. Quarterly adjusted EBITDA was $22.2 million, down 53.8% year over year. An average of 47 Excel Maritime vessels were operated during the first quarter of 2012 compared with 48.3 in the year-ago quarter. Management announced that the company secured under time charter employment of 67% for its entire fleet and 100% for capsize vessels for fiscal 2012.
During the first quarter of 2012, Excel Maritime generated $4.3 million of cash from operations compared with $43.8 million in the year-ago quarter. Free cash flow (cash flow from operations less capital expenditure) in the reported quarter was $4 million compared with $25.5 million in the prior-year quarter.
At the end of the first quarter of 2012, Excel Maritime had $31 million of cash & cash equivalents compared with $53.8 million at the end of 2011. Total debt, at the end of the previous quarter, was $1,030.9 million compared with $1,154 million at the end of 2011. At the end of the reported quarter, debt-to-capitalization ratio was 0.40 compared with 0.37 at the end of 2011.
Excel Maritime operates under highly competitive drybulk shipping industry. The company’s main competitors are Diana Shipping Inc. (DSX - Snapshot Report), Genco Shipping & Trading Ltd. (GNK - Snapshot Report), and DryShips Inc. . We maintain our long-term Neutral recommendation on Excel Maritime. Currently, the company holds a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold) on the stock.