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Year-end surge salvages earnings

TANKER companies ended 2007 on a high note. Shares in Frontline, the world's biggest crude-oil shipper, ended the year 55% higher than they started it. Shares in Overseas Shipholding Group (OSG) rose by 31% over the 12 months. Teekay's fourth-quarter initial public offering for its oil-tanker business, Teekay Tankers, raised $224m. Things could have been very different. In the third quarter, a number of companies, including OSG America and Belgium's Euronav, were reporting losses, with demand falling as evidence of the US and global economic slow-down emerged. At the top end of the market, Frontline's third-quarter net income totalled $24.2m, with a cumulative $372m for the nine months endi

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