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Sector Snap: Shipping

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of several shipping companies rose Thursday after Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. announced a surprise first-quarter profit.

The New York-based company said Wednesday that it earned $1.4 million, or 8 cents per share, compared with a loss of $17.4 million, or $1.11 per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

Revenue jumped 37 percent to $72.2 million, as gross time charter revenue increased 34 percent to $73.6 million.

Analysts, on average, expected a loss of $2.03 per share on $35.6 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

Not surprisingly, Eagle Bulk posted some of the sector's largest gains, jumping $1.97, or 55.3 percent, to $5.53 in afternoon trading, after peaking at $5.93 earlier in the session, its highest price in more than a year.

Despite the strong quarterly results, CEO Sophocles Zoullas said conditions in the dry bulk market remain tough. He added that while supply dynamics are improving, they don't yet match demand.

Here's how some shipping companies fared in afternoon trading:

— Diana Shipping Inc., up 46 cents, or 4.6 percent, to $10.58.

— Paragon Shipping Inc., up 67 cents, or 14.7 percent, to $5.23.

— DryShips Inc., up 22 cents, or 12 percent, to $2.10.

— Navios Maritime Holdings Inc., up 12 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $4.75.

— Euroseas Ltd., up 8 cents, or 7.1 percent, to $1.20.

— Genco Shipping & Trading Ltd., up 24 cents, or 17.8 percent, to $1.59.