(Dow Jones) Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services lowered its rating outlook on Navios Maritime Acquisition Corp. (NNA) to negative from stable, citing difficult trading conditions in the product tanker shipping industry.
Dry-bulk shipper Navios Maritime Holdings Inc. (NM) is the principal shareholder and sponsor of Navios Acquisition, which owns and operates tanker vessels that transport petroleum products and bulk liquid chemicals.
S&P affirmed Navios Acquisition’s corporate credit rating of B, which is five steps into junk territory.
But the ratings company said the pressure on Navios Acquisition’s earnings and credit measures has increased, due to an uncertain industry outlook and the company’s higher debt from the recent acquisition of new vessels.
S&P said it could revise Navios Acquisition’s outlook to stable if it observes a gradual market recovery and if the company’s cash flow improves.
On Tuesday, Navios Acquisition reported its first-quarter loss widened as higher direct vessel expenses masked its 42% revenue growth. The company has a fleet of 29 tanker vessels with 15 vessels in the water for 2012. The company has said it believes it can generate additional cash flow in the current rate environment even if there is no recovery in the market.
Shares closed Thursday at $2.80 and were inactive premarket. The stock is up 4% since the start of the year.
-By Melodie Warner, Dow Jones Newswires