(Reuters) - DryShips Inc (DRYS.O) reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss as voyage revenue in its drybulk carriers business fell.
Shares of DryShips, considered to be a bellwether stock for the industry, fell about 6 percent in aftermarket trading. They closed at $1.97 on the Nasdaq on Wednesday.
"We continue to be bearish about the short-term performance of the shipping markets. Both tanker and drybulk spot charter rates continue to hover around historic lows," Chief Executive George Economou said in a statement.
The time charter equivalent rate -- average daily revenue of a vessel per voyage -- in the drybulk business more than halved to $10,547 from $25,306 a year earlier.
"Unfortunately this comes at a time when most of our lucrative legacy charters expire," Economou said.
Voyage revenue in the drybulk business fell about 57 percent to $40.8 million. The business contributed 76 percent to total voyage revenue in the fourth quarter.
The Greece-based company's loss widened to $129.8 million, or 34 cents per share, in the fourth quarter from $6.2 million, or 2 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, the company lost 15 cents per share.
Analysts on average had expected a loss of 11 cents per share on revenue of $294.30 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue fell 14 percent to $282.9 million.
Reporting by Garima Goel in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian