Seanergy Maritime posted a loss for the third quarter as the capesize bulker market did not perform to its expectations, but the owner is still optimistic as it eyes low inventories and stronger demand for dry commodities.

The New York-listed owner of 17 capesizes reported $5.04m in net loss for the three-month period, down from $7.14m in net profit for the same period in 2022.

On an adjusted basis, Athens-based Seanergy recorded a $2.56m loss that excluded $2.47m in stock-based pay, down from $7.6m in net profit a year earlier, when the adjusted figure excluded $2.92m in stock-based pay and a $2.8m cost related to the July 2022 spin-off of bulker owner United Maritime.

The adjusted results led to a third-quarter loss per share of $0.14 that beat the average of two analysts’ estimates of $0.29 loss per share, according to data from Yahoo Finance.

The lower earnings were driven by a weaker capesize market in the third quarter, during which Seanergy earned a time charter equivalent rate of nearly $15,300 per day, down from a TCE rate of $20,600 per day earned during the third quarter of 2022.

Chief executive Stamatis Tsantanis pointed out that Seanergy’s TCE rate for the quarter outperformed the Baltic Capesize Index by about 14%, but the BCI posted the lowest third-quarter spot-rate average since 2016.

But that did not stop the company’s board of directors from giving another quarterly dividend of $0.025 per share since Seanergy has a “healthy liquidity position” and a consistent approach to rewarding shareholders, Tsantanis said.

Plus, about 30% of the company’s available vessel days in the fourth quarter are already covered at fixed rates above $20,000 per day and the capesize market sustained a strong rally in October, he said.

“We remain optimistic about our financial performance in the current quarter,” Tsantanis said.

Seanergy posted a net loss of $8.55m for the first nine months of 2023, down from a net profit of $16.8m for the same time span in 2022.

Revenue for the period totalled $70.8m, down from $96.5m in revenue during the same time last year.

“Despite this very favourable demand backdrop, the freight market did not perform according to our expectations for most of the nine-month period ending in September 2023,” Tsantanis said.

“As mentioned in our previous earnings update, historically low port congestion and efficient utilisation of the capesize fleet increased the effective vessel supply, which put pressure on freight rates.”