Costamare Shipping Co reported its most profitable first quarter since listing in New York over a decade ago. Revenue more than doubled to $268m and net income reached $123m, compared with $68.1m in the year-earlier period, the containership and dry bulk carrier owner said in a statement. Adjusted net income was $104.5m, excluding a $17.8m gain from selling a 25-year-old 2,458 teu boxship as well as earnings allocated to holders of preferred stock.
The Greece-based company has also agreed to sell the 2009-built supramax Thunder (IMO: 9558892) in a deal estimated to yield a $3.6m capital gain on completion in the second quarter. The 57,334-dwt vessel will be the first of Costamare’s dry bulk fleet to be resold. The longtime containership specialist diversified into the dry bulk sector last year, eventually amassing a fleet of 46 bulkers ranging from handysizes up to kamsarmaxes. The owner has been capitalizing on a strong market in both its sectors of operation.
Contracted revenue for Costamare’s fleet of 76 containerships in the water stands at $3.3bn, with an average remaining time charter duration of 4.1 years. The fleet is fully chartered for 2022 and is about 95% covered for 2023. “Fundamentals and strong charter rates for the container market remain unchanged,” said chief financial officer Gregory Zikos, adding full commercial employment of the global boxship fleet left no vessels available on short notice. “Congestion shows no signs of easing, while recent events are in fact contributing to further increases.”
Several Costamare’s containerships have been re-chartered at much higher rates than those currently being earned. Examples include the 6,644 teu pair Maersk Kolkata (IMO: 9244922) and Maersk Kingston (IMO: 9244934), currently earning a base rate of $16,000 per day with a profit/loss sharing provision that could elevate the charter rate to a maximum $25,000. The pair will begin a new charter later this year to Zim at $53,000 per day for three years. Zim has also agreed five-year charters from early 2023 for the 4,258 teu pair Vulpecula (IMO: 9430789) and Vela (IMO: 9406180) at an average daily rate of $43,250. The vessels are currently earning $22,700 daily.
The dry bulk market also remained “strong” with smaller bulkers earning a premium to larger vessels, “also benefiting from container spillover,” according to Mr Zikos. “Supply and demand dynamics remain healthy, underpinned by a historically low orderbook.”
Costamare has liquidity of about $640m on its balance sheet, including about $152.5m in available undrawn funds from two bank hunting licenses available to support further potential dry bulk acquisitions. The company currently has an orderbook of four 15,000 teu and two 12,690 teu containership newbuildings due in 2024, all of which have long-term employment awaiting them upon delivery. It declared a quarterly dividend of $0.115 per share as well as a special dividend of $0.50 per share on its common stock, to be paid concurrently.