reuters logoMarch 6 (Reuters) – DryShips Inc reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss as voyage revenue in its drybulk carriers business fell.

Shares of DryShips, considered to be a bellwether stock for the industry, fell about 6 percent in aftermarket trading. They closed at $1.97 on the Nasdaq on Wednesday.

“We continue to be bearish about the short-term performance of the shipping markets. Both tanker and drybulk spot charter rates continue to hover around historic lows,” Chief Executive George Economou said in a statement.

The time charter equivalent rate — average daily revenue of a vessel per voyage — in the drybulk business more than halved to $10,547 from $25,306 a year earlier.

“Unfortunately this comes at a time when most of our lucrative legacy charters expire,” Economou said.

Voyage revenue in the drybulk business fell about 57 percent to $40.8 million. The business contributed 76 percent to total voyage revenue in the fourth quarter.

The Greece-based company’s loss widened to $129.8 million, or 34 cents per share, in the fourth quarter from $6.2 million, or 2 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company lost 15 cents per share.

Analysts on average had expected a loss of 11 cents per share on revenue of $294.30 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue fell 14 percent to $282.9 million.

(c) 2013 Thomson Reuters, Click For Restrictions

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