ECONOMY

In Brief

Tsakos Q2 profit drops as shipping rates decrease Tsakos Energy Navigation Ltd, the owner of crude oil and refined products tankers, said second-quarter profit fell 73 percent as shipping rates decreased. Net income fell to $18.8 million, or 51 cents a share, from $69.2 million, or $1.82, a year earlier, Athens-based Tsakos Energy Navigation said yesterday in a statement. The company was expected to earn 26 cents a share, the average of two analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Revenues fell 33 percent to $114.2 million. Tsakos has more of its ships on fixed-rent time charters than on single-voyage, or spot, contracts, helping the company to avoid some of the drop in shipping rates caused by less demand for oil during the recession. Rates to ship crude oil in the quarter fell 71 percent over a year earlier, according to the Baltic Dirty Tanker Index. «They have a fair amount of contract coverage,» about 60 percent of the fleet, said Greg Lewis, a New York-based analyst at Credit Suisse who has a «neutral» rating on the shares. (Bloomberg) Alapis plans rights offering this week Alapis Holdings SA, a Greek maker of drugs and veterinary products, plans to sell shares in a rights offering this week, two people familiar with the sale said. Bank of America Corp, Deutsche Bank AG and Sal. Oppenheim jr & Cie may arrange the offering, said the sources, who declined to be identified because the talks are private. The sale may raise about 500 million euros ($721 million), one of the people said. Norbert Schmidt-Gollas, Athens-based Alapis’s investor relations chief, declined to comment. The company, which sold about 800 million euros in stock two years ago to fund acquisitions, is raising the money for additional takeovers, one of the people said. Alapis Holdings has announced at least 16 purchases of stakes in companies, including Elpharma and Lamda Detergent SA, since 2007, data compiled by Bloomberg shows. (Bloomberg) Earnings dip Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd, a transporter of raw commodities, including iron ore and coal, said second-quarter profits fell 37 percent as shipping demand weakened during the global economic recession. Net income fell to $78 million, or $1.05 per share, from $123.6 million, or $3.06 a share a year earlier, Athens-based Excel said in a statement yesterday. The company was expected to earn $1.10 a share, according to the average of three analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales fell 15 percent to $173.9 million from $205.5 million. The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of shipping costs for commodities, dropped 72 percent from a year earlier as the recession cut global trade. Having more ships on fixed-rent time charters than on single-voyage, or spot, contracts helps to secure revenue. (Bloomberg) Aegean drilling Aegean Energy SA said it plans to start drilling at its offshore Epsilon field, in the Gulf of Kavala, northern Greece, next month, having tripled production from the Prinos North field. The company completed its Prinos North field development plan at a cost of about $38 million and increased production to over 3,000 barrels a day, Aegean said in a statement. (Bloomberg)