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Knightsbridge frustrated in second-hand market

38745 fcras 9/2 2011 18:07

VLCCF empty handed

By Andy Pierce in London
Published: 13:41 GMT, 08 Feb 11 | updated: 16:17 GMT, 08 Feb 11

John Fredriksen’s Knightsbridge Tankers has come up short of expectations in the fourth quarter.

Nasdaq-listed Knightsbridge was also frustrated in the second-hand market where it was unable to find the right purchase despite having funds readily available.

Knightsbridge posted a profit of $6.00m in the three months to the close of 2010, short of the $8.99m seen a year ago.

Earnings per share of $0.25 missed the $0.45 per share forecast on Wall Street.

Its dividend of $0.50 per share, however, is only two cents below the figure analysts had pencilled in.

The tanker and bulker owner saw revenue slip from $23.42m to $21.63m year-on-year, while operating expenses increased. A Dry-docking for one of its VLCCs brought a one-off loss of $3.6m.

Knightsbridge says it has the funds on hand to buy one more vessel without having to tap the equity market.

“It has, however, been a challenge to find the optimal combination of asset price and time charter rate and so far no acquisition candidate has been found,” its quarterly report said.

“The board will therefore continue to monitor the sale and purchase market for vessels that can contribute to the company’s future dividend capacity.”

Yesterday Knightsbridge revealed Fredriksen’s Golden Ocean has built a stake of 10% in the company following two sale and purchase deals involving cash and shares.

Golden Ocean now holds 2,438,199 shares and may enter further deals which may see it “combining with or acquiring control of” Knightsbridge, according to an SEC filing.