Shares of containership operator Seaspan (NYSE: SSW) are up 10% as of 2:45 p.m. EDT after the company provided investors with a "vessel update" in the form of a press release. As the company advised, it has accepted delivery an 11,000 TEU containership (i.e., a ship capable of carrying 11,000 "Twenty-foot Equivalent Units" worth of containers) called the "MSC Shuba B."
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Seaspan immediately leased the vessel to Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. on a 17-year charter, after the completion of which, MSC will be obligated to purchase the vessel from Seaspan outright "for a pre-determined" (but unspecified) "amount." Seaspan further advised that it has ordered five such 11,000 TEU vessels for chartering over the coming years, all destined to serve MSC.
Simultaneously, Seaspan advised that it has entered into two more charters for 10,000 TEU containership vessels which will be leased to an unnamed "leading liner." These vessels, currently under construction and expected to be delivered in 2018, will embark upon three-year charters with Seaspan's customer, extendable by a further three years after completion of the initial charter.
Finally, Seaspan says it is selling four 4,250 TEU class vessels to unnamed parties for total proceeds of $37 million. The company expects to earn a profit of $14 million on these sales, which will close in the current third, and fourth quarters of 2017.
The $14 million profit alone won't be enough to lift Seaspan out of the hole its income statement is currently in, with trailing-12-month losses amounting to $114 million. That said, the series of successful charter announcements does appear to indicate that business is picking up, and the fact that Seaspan is recording any profit at all on its sold ships further suggests that demand for containerships may be reviving. While it's difficult whether all of this is enough to justify a 10% jump in Seaspan's stock price, therefore, it does appear that the news today is all of the "good" kind.
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