Thursday, March 19, 2009

Some light at the end of the tunnel for Dry Ships?

The recent improvement in dry bulk markets has put rates above cash-break even costs and reduced the likelihood of default for Dry Ships and other dry bulk companies. Ocean Rig, - DRYS's big M&A deal last year that changed the shape of the company - secured a three-year exploration drilling deal with Petrobras in the Black Sea, which will allow its semisubmersible Leiv Eiriksson to pick up around US$ 575,000 per day from the charter. Oppenheimer upgraded DRYS since the end of February to 'market perform'.

Ocean Rig is one of the most valuable assets in DRYS. This new contract may assist the group in the eventual spin-off of this company as a separately traded entity. If done at a premium, it will enhance share value for DRYS shareholders.

Meanwhile the company has had protracted negotiations with major lenders and restructured its senior debt obligations.

So long as current dry bulk market conditions do not deteriorate and the off-shore drilling does not tighten, there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel for this group.

DRYS shares have been lately in a moribund state, but they now are trading sharply higher today.

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