Thursday, September 27, 2007

Introduction to Shipping Stocks.

Given the uncertain outlook for the U.S. economy, this might be a good time to consider shipping stocks - for companies that operate oceangoing cargo vessels.

Ship operators generally fall into two categories: oil tankers and dry bulk shippers.

While you already know what oil tankers do, dry bulk might be an unfamiliar term. Dry-bulk cargo is iron ore, grain, steel, and most other items that you'd want to ship except for crude oil, natural gas and gasoline.

Ship operators charge by the day. The day rates, subject to the balance of supply and demand, are notoriously volatile. Because operating costs are relatively fixed, profits skyrocket when rates are high and can turn to losses when rates drop.

Spurred by the rapid growth of emerging economies in China, India, Latin America and elsewhere, the demand for shipping capacity has soared, pushing day rates and ship operators' profits up. In boom times, however, operators usually keep expanding their fleets until supply exceeds demand, and day rates drop.

In recent weeks, oil tanker rates have dropped while dry-bulk day rates have soared. Consequently, although both categories have enjoyed share price increases so far this year, dry-bulk shippers have been the stars. But that doesn't mean you should dump your tanker stocks in favor of dry-bulk shippers. Some say dry-bulk rates have gone up too far, too fast, and that oil tanker rates are probably headed back up.

What makes shipping stocks attractive to me is that many pay hefty dividends equating to yields in the 5 to 10 percent range and sometimes higher. Those dividends add significantly to returns and tend to cushion share price drops when the overall market heads down.

Courtesy:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/09/16/BU89S4TO1.DTL&type=business

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Varun Shipping Company.

Varun Shipping Company.

26-Sept-2007.

Varun Shipping Company Limited is an India-based company that is engaged in the business of shipping. The Company’s core business is established in seaborne transportation of bulk cargoes in the hydrocarbon sector, including transportation of liquid petroleum gas (LPG), crude oil and petroleum products. Varun Shipping Company Limited has a diversified fleet of 20 vessels. The Company’s wholly owned subsidiary is VSC International Pte. Ltd. In June 2007, the Company acquired Maharshi Bhardwaj, which is a gas carrier. The Company acquired its fourth AHTS vessel, MV SUDAKSHA, in May 2007. Varun Shipping Company Limited sold its vessel, LPG/C Maharshi Vishwamitra in June 2007.

As on 26-Sept-2007.
# Parameter Value Remarks
1 Price 67
2 PE 5.13
3 52 Week High 83
4 52-Week Low 49
5 Div 45
6 EPS 13
7 B/V 50

Source: NSE - Varun Shipping Co. Ltd. has informed the Exchange that "Varun Shipping has in order to expand its asset base in the hydrocarbons sector, entered into a Memorandum of Agreement for acquiring a Very Large Gas Carrier (VLGC) having a cargo carrying capacity of approximately 76,644 cbm. Varun shipping will be the first Indian shipping company to acquire a VLGC. This VLGC is scheduled to be delivered in June / July, 2007 and will be in the largest gas carrier to be registered under the Indian flag. Varun Shipping has on 18th December, 2006 acquired Large Gas Carrier, LPG / C Maharshi Vamadeva. Further, the aframax crude tanker for which company has entered into Memorandum of Agreement is scheduled to be delivered by 15th January, 2007. With the acquisition of above mentioned vessels, company would have completed an investment of around US $ 200 million out of the proposed expansion plan of US $ 400 million. A copy of press release in this regard titled "Varun Shipping Signs MOA to Acquire Further Vessel" shall be available on the NSE website (http://www.nseindia.com) under: Corporates > Latest Announcements and on the Extranet Server (/Common/Corporate Announcements). Date: 2006-12-28

Source: BSE - Varun Shipping Company Ltd has announced that the Company in order to expand its asset base in the oil and gas exploration and production industry has signed Memorandum of Agreements for acquiring two 2001 built Anchor Handling and Towing Supply (AHTS) vessels. These vessels have BHP of around 16000 T and Bollard Pull in excess of 180 Tons. One of the vessels is scheduled to be delivered by end of January, 2007 and the second one in April / May, 2007. These modern and highly sophisticated world class vessels will be used for deep sea oil exploration going on in North Sea, Bay of Bengal and Atlantic Ocean off the coasts of Nigeria, Brazil and Mexico. These vessels have been designed by Vik-Sandvick, a very reputed designer from Norway and are highly maneuverable and are fitted with the Dynamic Positioning (DP) which ensures that they can safely maintain position off the offshore installations. These two vessels will be amongst the most powerful AHTS vessels with highest Bollard Pull under the Indian flag. As few such vessels exist in the world, the acquisition of these vessels by the Company will establish a new milestone in offshore support services for India's oil industry. With the acquisition of above mentioned vessels, the Company will have completed an investment of around US$ 320 million out of the proposed expansion plan of US$ 400 million. Date: 2007-01-27

Source: BSE - Varun Shipping Company Ltd has announced that the Company has acquired one 2001 built Anchor Handling and Towing Supply Vessel (AHTS Vessel). This vessel has BHP of around 16000 T and Bollard Pull in excess of 180 Tons. This modern and highly sophisticated world class vessel will be used for deep sea oil exploration going on in North Sea, Bay of Bengal and Atlantic Ocean off the coasts of Nigeria, Brazil and Mexico. This vessel will be the most powerful AHTS vessel with highest Bollard Pull under Indian flag. As few such vessels exist in the world, the acquisition of this vessel by the Company will establish a new milestone in offshore support services for India's oil industry. Date: 2007-02-01.

Source: BSE - Varun Shipping Company Ltd has informed BSE that consequent to the exercise of option for conversion of 11,00,000 Optionally Fully Convertible Warrants (OFCWs), out of 39,50,000 OFCWs, which were allotted on preferential basis to Tarun Shipping and Industries Ltd, a promoter group Company, the Committee of Directors (CoD) at its meeting held on March 22, 2007 has issued an allotted 11,00,000 equity shares at a price of Rs 75 per share (i.e. Rs 10 on capital account and Rs 65 on premium account) to Tarun Shipping and Industries Ltd. Date: 2007-03-22.

Source: BSE - Varun Shipping Company Ltd has informed BSE that the Company has taken delivery of second 16000 BHP Anchor Handling and Towing Supply Vessel with Bollard Pull in excess of 180 Tons. This is a highly sophisticated vessel which is proposed to be used for deep sea oil exploration activity going on in areas like North Sea, Bay of Bengal and Atlantic Ocean off the coasts of Nigeria, Brazil and Mexico. This vessel is the sister vessel of Subhiksha, which was acquired by the Company in January, 2007. The vessel Subhiksha is presently on long term time charter to Reliance Industries Ltd for its offshore exploration activities in Krishna Godavari basin. These are the most powerful AHTS vessels with highest Bollard Pull under Indian flag. Acquisition of these vessels by the Company has established a new milestone in offshore support services for India's oil industry. Date: 2007-05-15.

Source: BSE - Varun Shipping Company Ltd has announced that the Company has acquired a Very Large Gas Carrier (VLGC), MAHARSHI BHARDWAJ on June 18, 2007. The new vessel has cargo carrying capacity of 76,644 cbm. This will be the largest LPG carrier in Indian fleet. The Company is the first Indian shipping Company to acquire a VLGC. With the addition of this ship, the Company will own around 80 per cent of total LPG tonnage presently operating under Indian flag. The Company's vessel acquisition was financed partly out of its own resources and partly out of long term loan from ICICI Bank Ltd. The Company has sold one of its 1974 built LPG Carrier, Maharshi Vishwamitra on June 19, 2007. Date: 2007-06-20.

Source: NSE - Varun Shipping Co. Ltd. has informed the Exchange regarding a press release, dated July 24, 2007, titled "Varun Shipping's Growth in the Hydrocarbon Sector yields strong results". A copy of the press release shall be available on the NSE website (http://www.nseindia.com) under: Corporates > Latest Announcements and on the Extranet Server (/Common/Corporate Announcements). Date: 2007-07-24.

Kale Consultants.

Kale Consultants.

Dated: 26-Sept-2007.
Kale Consultants Ltd. provides solutions to the global travel and transportation industry. The Company operates primarily in two segments: travel and transportation, and projects and services.

Its subsidiaries include Kale Softech, Inc., United States; Kale Consultants Australia Pty. Ltd., Australia; Kale Technologies Ltd., United Kingdom, and Synetairos Technologies Ltd., India. Kale Softech, Inc. is involved in the marketing of software solutions and outsourced services to the travel and transportation industry.

Kale Consultants Australia Pty. Ltd. is involved in marketing software services and products. Kale Consultants Ltd. announced the acquisition of privately held Zero Octa, a provider of airline revenue assurance, protection and audit services world wide.

As on 26-Sept-2007.
# Parameter Value Remarks
1 Price 89
2 PE 15.22
3 52 Week High 143
4 52-Week Low 85.05
5 Div 12.50
6 EPS 5.90
7 B/V 52.66



Highlights for the Quarter ended June 30, 2007

The profit after tax is Rs 114.9 million, with the sale of our office premises in Andheri contributing Rs 103.3 million. The premises were sold because they were inadequate to meet our needs for growth and the company has a long term plan to build it’s own campus at Thane.

In terms of customer acquisitions during the quarter:
. A leading West African airline is in the process of outsourcing its Passenger Revenue Accounting functions to Kale-MPS®.

· A leading travel agency in India has engaged Kale to develop an integrated solution platform to connect its multiple suppliers and enhance their ability to offer multiple products and cross-selling opportunities. In addition the solution will also cater to complete automation of operational fulfillment activities of the company’s corporate travel division.

· Following the implementation of a Custodian Management system at an International airport in India, one more airport has contracted Kale for implementing a similar system.

· An online hotel reservations specialist and leading tour operator has engaged Kale to develop a hotel management component to their overall online offering.

· A global life insurance company has contracted Kale to outsource the support of their AllFusion Gen applications.

Future Outlook:
We are seeing continuing traction in our core areas of revenue management. We are also gaining customers in travel and logistics, which is in line with our strategy to address the increase the addressable market to progressively cover the entire Travel and Transport industry.

The order book is robust and in excess of US $ 100 million and growing.

Courtesy:
http://www.moneycontrol.com/india/news/pressmarket/kale-consultants-revenue21-/21/01/295345



Source: BSE - Kale Consultants Ltd has informed BSE that Direct Logistics, the multinational freight-forwarding & logistics group, has chosen the Company to develop a web-enabled solution to automate their ocean, air and multi-modal freight operations. The solution will encompass various functions including sales, export, import and tracking. The solution will also provide on-demand as well as routine management information to better manage operations. Mr. Rajiv Dalal, Senior vice President and Head — Global Sales, of the Company said, "We are proud to welcome Direct Logistics to our growing family of customers. Kale's solution will allow Direct Logistics to manage its multi-modal, multi-location operations more efficiently and effectively, which will result in higher customer satisfaction. Direct Logistics’ confidence in Kale's knowledge of the logistics domain and technological expertise is very heartening." Date: 2007-01-17

Source: BSE - Kale Consultants Ltd on January 22, 2007 has announced that Yemenia Airways has selected the Company for providing the complete suite of Revenue Recovery and Protection Services (RRPS) on an outsourced basis. The services will be provided by the Kale MPS™ (Managed Process Services), the outsourcing division of the Company. Kale MPS™, using its state-of-the-art exhaustive audit tools, will provide Yemenia services relating to Revenue Recovery through Passenger & Cargo Sales Audit, RBD Audit, Passenger & Cargo Secondary Interline Audit and BIDT & GGS Billing Audit. Yemenia evaluated several audit service providers and selected the Company as it was the only solution provider with proven expertise of revenue protection and audit services in upstream as well as downstream systems. Yemenia has a trusted partner in the Company, which has created industry's first end-to-end Revenue Recovery and Protection Services. Mr. Rajiv Dalal, Sr. Vice President — Global Sales of the Company said, "Airlines typically loose a huge portion of their revenues through errors in ticketing and application of fares and rules, inability to validate airways bills, difficulty in controlling distribution costs and verify interline billings. In order to retain their competitive edge, airlines are constantly evaluating options to increase revenues, reduce operating expenses and minimize revenue leakage." He further added, "By outsourcing this critical Revenue Recovery Service to Kale, Yemenia will now accrue the benefits and avail the services of skilled professionals. With Kale's RRPS services, Yemenia will be able to reduce revenue leakages which would accrue directly to their bottom-line." Yemenia's partnership with the Company will further add to their profitability and improve the quality of processes without compromising on security and confidentiality. Date: 2007-01-22

Source: BSE - Kale Consultants Ltd has informed BSE that Apollo Tyres group Company Apollo LogiSolutions Ltd, a subsidiary of Apollo International Ltd, has chosen the Company to develop a web-enabled solution to automate their Container Freight Station Operations. The solution will encompass various functions like Import Cycle, Exports Cycle, Bond Cycle, Empty Cycle, Customer Management, Irregularities Management, Accounting, Tracking, and Reference Data Management. The solution will also provide on-demand as well as routine management information to better manage operations. Mr. Rajiv Dalal, Senior Vice President and Head — Global Sales, of the Company said, "Apollo and Kale is a natural alliance. Capt. Anand's vision and technology orientation has helped him carve a successful business strategy, different from most others within the industry. Kale, with its knowledge-led solution offerings, closely meets Apollo's stringent requirements. We are proud to be associated with Apollo in creating a solution which will provide them with the necessary impetus to drive their business forward. It is heartening to see a Company that has planned so well and addresses customer issues on priority by spending on solutions which will make transacting every component in their business chain much easier." Date: 2007-02-14


Source: BSE - Kale Consultants Ltd has informed BSE that SAS Cargo, Scandinavia's largest cargo carrier, and the Company on April 20, 2007 have announced the signing of a contract to implement Kale's CSP-AMBER® cargo revenue accounting solution. The solution will be hosted by the Company from Mumbai in India. Peter O'Sullivan, Head of Cargo & Logistics Practice at the Company said, "I am delighted that SAS Cargo has chosen the CSP-AMBER® revenue accounting solution. I believe the award of this contract is as much about the strength and flexibility of the software as it is of Kale's domain knowledge and expertise in the revenue accounting arena. SAS Cargo wanted, a supplier that understood its business, and could provide a solution that would exactly match its requirements. That is what we will deliver. I look forward to our on-going relationship with SAS Cargo, and I feel confident that we will exceed SAS Cargo's high expectations." CSP-AMBER® is a complete new generation cargo revenue accounting solution. It enables cargo airlines to reduce costs, increase cash-flow, maintain tighter financial control, enhance decision-making and automate the revenue accounting processes so that financial management becomes accurate, timely and maximizes revenue. CSP-AMBER® is an independent module of CSP®, Kale's integrated enterprise wide cargo solution. Date: 2007-04-23

Source: BSE - Kale Consultants Ltd has announced that DAALLO Airlines, a prominent airline operating between Middle East, Africa and Europe has selected the Company for providing passenger revenue accounting and cargo revenue accounting on an outsourced basis. The Company will provide revenue accounting processing services to Daallo from its Managed Process Services centre (Kale MPS®) in Mumbai, India. The Company will provide passenger & cargo revenue accounting services including the processing of sales and uplifts, claims to credit card companies and to other airlines for interline coupons, declaration of revenue with comprehensive account postings for the general edger, management of deals, and a decision support business intelligence system. With the system going live, DAALLO will enjoy significant business benefits, supporting its continued development. Revenue Will be maximized through accurate billing and verification, accounting costs will be reduced, productivity will be enhanced and training costs eliminated. Mr. Satish Ambe, Executive Vice President and Head - Kale MPS®, said: "At Kale, we are proud to have developed a unique offering for customers whereby they enjoy the benefits of one of the best revenue accounting solutions without having to invest heavily on technology and people. Both our passenger and cargo revenue accounting solutions are modern systems and address key accounting concerns for airlines. The outsourced model is an ideal solution for clients looking to transform their businesses." He further added, "For DAALLO, an airline on the growth path, outsourcing of non-key functions like revenue accounting makes a lot of sense so that DAALLO can focus on their core business. I am sure that this is a mutually beneficial relationship for DAALLO as well as kale, to be cherished and developed for the forseeable future." Date: 2007-06-25

Source: BSE - Kale Consultants Ltd has informed BSE that the Company and Zero Octa UK Ltd. (Zero Octa) on August 07, 2007 announced the Company's acquisition of privately held Zero Octa, the largest and leading provider of airline revenue assurance, protection and audit services world wide. Zero Octa, headquartered in London, is a strategic addition to the Company's Revenue Management portfolio aimed specifically at the Airline industry. The acquisition will extend the Company's revenue management, protection and revenue integrity service capabilities and also significantly increases the Company's airline client base. Zero Octa offers a fully managed end-to-end solution that works in conjunction with an airlines' existing processes to maximize the efficiency of their systems, processes and personnel. Zero Octa has offices located in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific, with delivery centers located in both Mumbai and Goa Zero Octa is considered by many to be the "best of breed" service provider in the revenue management, protection and revenue integrity service space and has been chosen by Star Alliance and other leading airlines such as Continental Airlines, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, South African Airways, Singapore Airlines and Air India amongst others. "The addition of Zero Octa will advance Kale's vision to be the leader in the Revenue Management space," said Vipul Jain, Managing Director and CEO - of the Company. He further added "Zero Octa's solutions, talent and customers complement Kale's business and extends our ability to deliver compelling products and services to airlines all across the globe Zero Octa s expertise in revenue recovery solutions delivers huge value to airlines. These competitive differentiators have led many airlines to choose Zero Octa This planned acquisition will strengthen Kale's presence as a leading provider of end-to-end, best of breed solutions to the airlines industry." The Company's leadership position in the airlines industry is accentuated by it's best of breed solutions and services. The Company's revenue accounting and interline billing products are considered to be the most modern systems for airlines today. The Company's proration solution APEX® is one of the two IATA-selected and approved Neutral Fare Proration (NFP) engines. In addition to software, the Company also offers revenue accounting on an end-to-end outsourced basis - "platform based BPO"; an innovation that won the Company the NASSCOM IT Innovation award. The Company has over 40 customers for it's range of revenue management products and solutions including the SkyTeam, Qatar Airways, bmi, Malaysian Airlines, Saudia, Air India etc. The acquisition will make the Company not only the leading, but also the largest provider of revenue management and accounting solutions globally. The portfolio will include both products and services for all aspects of revenue in the sales to cash cycle - including revenue optimization, protection, interline billing, accounting, audit and recovery services. With over 200 domain, technology and software professionals and 1100 processing staff the Company will have the largest pool of expertise in this space globally and be thus well positioned to deliver exceptional value to the industry. Strategic Benefits for Kale Consultants Strengthened technology portfolio: The Company has already established itself as a leader in revenue accounting solutions for airlines with products like REVERA® APEX® and CSP AMBER® to manage critical functions such as sales processing, proration, interline billing, credit card billing, revenue recognition, reconciliation, cargo revenue accounting etc. With the addition of Zero Octa's technology for revenue integrity, protection and audit, the Company would have the "best of breed" technology for every step of the revenue management and accounting process. Enhanced BPO capabilities and capacity: The combined strength of the Company's BPO would be in excess of 1100 employees possessing IATA certification, travel process knowledge and experience in managing over 40 different processes. This would be amongst the largest global expertise pool for airline and travel BPO and provides a strong foundation for growth. Enhanced Customer Base: Zero Octa's current client list includes over 30 of the worlds leading airlines including the Star Alliance, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and Continental Airlines amongst others. The Company Group will now have over 70 customers in the travel and transportation industry, including 12 of the top 20 airlines as well as marquee clients in travel and logistics. Advisors: The Company's advisors in this transaction were Piper Serica Advisors Pvt Ltd. Date: 2007-08-07

Source: BSE - Kale Consultants Ltd has informed BSE that the Company and Airline Tariff Publishing Corporation (ATPCO), the industry leader in the collection and distribution of airline fare data, have signed an agreement to jointly provide one best-practice proration solution to the airline industry. ATPCO's CIPS and Company's APEX® are the two IATA-selected and - approved Neutral Fare Proration (NFP) engines which form an integral part of the First & Final™ (F&F) interline billing service, provided by ATPCO, IATA and ARC (AIA), that enables rejection-free interline billing. With this agreement, both parties will offer a unified NFP solution, which will be powered by the Company's APEX®. This initiative contributes to the "Simplify the Business" initiative and establishes an even more efficient F&F interline billing service for the benefit of the airline industry. With this collaboration both companies will combine their proration expertise, ATPCO's customer relationship as an airline-owned industry organization and Company's technology skills. Mr. Vipul Jain, CEO & Managing Director of the Company said, "Changing business needs require agile technology solutions. It makes good business sense for two companies with such complementary strengths to come together and build a powerful solution to address the industry's challenges. Today, there is wider acceptance of the First & Final interline billing process as airlines across the globe harness the power of technology to cut costs." Date: 2007-08-27


Source: NSE - Kale Consultants Limited has informed the Exchange that the Company has recommended dividend of Rs.1.25 per share, i.e.12.5% for the year 2006-07. The dividend if declared, in the Annual General Meeting held on September 28, 2007 will be disbursed on October 11, 2007. Date: 2007-09-13.