Diana Shipping has exceeded analysts’ earnings expectations in a dry bulk sector that hit record highs during the third quarter. But the Greek bulker owner has pushed back when it will pay shareholders its first dividend in years. The New York-listed company posted $14.7m in net income for the three-month period, reversing a $13.2m net loss for the same period of last year. Net profit attributable to common shareholders came in at $13.3m, against a net $14.6m loss in the third quarter of 2020 that included a $6.8m impairment loss from the sale of ships. That translated into a $0.16 earnings per share that beat analyst consensus of $0.13.

Revenue for the owner of 37 bulkers improved to $57.3m from $42.3m a year earlier. That was a result of a much higher average time-charter equivalent earnings of $17,143 per day, versus $10,735 per day in the same period of 2020.

The Baltic Dry Index (BDI), which indicates the overall strength of bulk carrier markets, rose to a 13-year high of 5,647 points on 6 October as demand for iron ore and coal soared amid high commodity prices. The BDI has cooled off considerably since then, coming in at 2,430 points on Wednesday.

Semiramis Paliou-led Diana posted a $16.3m net profit for the first nine months of 2021, compared to a $126m net loss for the same timeframe last year. Net income attributable to common shareholders totaled $11.9m during the period, versus a net deficit of $131m for the first three quarters of 2020 that included $103m in impairments. Revenue for the first nine months of this year was $145m, which was higher than the $127m in revenue for the same period of last year.

Diana also announced on Wednesday that it has postponed the date it will give out its first dividend since 2008, in connection with a previously announced public spin-off of three older ships into a separate company called OceanPal.

The Athens-based shipowner said the new date, to be disclosed in a separate announcement, is “expected to occur as soon as practicable” once OceanPal is completely spun off from Diana and becomes registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission as a listed entity. “The company expects the spinoff transaction to be consummated in approximately two weeks on the same terms and conditions as previously announced,” Diana said in a statement.