September 12, 2008
Aries Maritime suspends divident payment
Athens-headquartered Aries Maritime Transport Limited (NASDAQ: RAMS) today announced that it has suspended payment of its quarterly dividend, effective immediately. It said the decision "follows the new management's strategic review of the company's business and reflects the company's focus on improving its long-term strength and operational results. Aries will evaluate the company's dividend policy on an ongoing basis."
CEO Jeff Parry commented, "Our preliminary results for the second quarter of 2008 reflect unscheduled out-of service time as well as the sale of our three oldest vessels. The Board has made a prudent decision to suspend Aries' quarterly dividend as management implements a comprehensive turnaround plan aimed at improving future performance and enhancing shareholder value. Specifically, we plan to invest in our operating platform, vessels and infrastructure with the intention of realizing the inherent value in our company."
Aries Maritime said it expects to report net income of $13.1 million, or $0.46 per basic and diluted common share, for the second quarter of 2008, which includes a $13.6 million gain on the sale of three vessels. The company expects to report revenues of $19.3 million and net operating income of approximately $2.1 million from continuing operations for the three months ended June 30, 2008.
The company plans to release second quarter 2008 earnings on Thursday, September 18, 2008 before the open of market trading.
Aries Maritime Transport Limited owns and operates products tankers and container vessels. The products tanker fleet consists of five MR tankers and four Panamax tankers, all of which are double-hulled. The company's three container vessels range in capacity from 1,799 to 2,917 TEU. Eight of the company's 12 vessels have period charter coverage. Charters for three of the products tankerscurrently have profit-sharing components.