Reviewing StealthGas (GASS) & Star Bulk Carriers (SBLK)

StealthGas (NASDAQ: GASS) and Star Bulk Carriers (NASDAQ:SBLK) are both small-cap transportation companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, profitability, risk, institutional ownership, valuation, dividends and earnings.

Volatility & Risk

StealthGas has a beta of 1.83, suggesting that its share price is 83% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Star Bulk Carriers has a beta of 2.74, suggesting that its share price is 174% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares StealthGas and Star Bulk Carriers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
StealthGas -4.14% 1.06% 0.61%
Star Bulk Carriers -13.04% -3.85% -1.93%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations for StealthGas and Star Bulk Carriers, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
StealthGas 0 0 0 0 N/A
Star Bulk Carriers 0 1 6 0 2.86

Star Bulk Carriers has a consensus price target of $13.20, indicating a potential upside of 19.35%. Given Star Bulk Carriers’ higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Star Bulk Carriers is more favorable than StealthGas.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares StealthGas and Star Bulk Carriers’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
StealthGas $144.13 million 1.10 -$7.79 million ($0.16) -24.75
Star Bulk Carriers $222.11 million 3.19 -$154.22 million ($1.87) -5.91

StealthGas has higher earnings, but lower revenue than Star Bulk Carriers. StealthGas is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Star Bulk Carriers, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

60.7% of StealthGas shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 70.4% of Star Bulk Carriers shares are held by institutional investors. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Star Bulk Carriers beats StealthGas on 6 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

StealthGas Company Profile

StealthGas Inc. is a provider of international seaborne transportation services to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) producers and users, as well as crude oil and product carriers to oil producers, refineries and commodities traders. The Company owns a fleet of LPG carriers. Its LPG carriers carry various petroleum gas products in liquefied form, including propane, butane, butadiene, isopropane, propylene and vinyl chloride monomer, which are all byproducts of the production of crude oil and natural gas. The medium range product carriers in its fleet are capable of carrying refined petroleum products, such as gasoline, diesel, fuel oil and jet fuel, as well as edible oils and chemicals, while its Aframax tanker is used for carrying crude oil. Its fleet consists of approximately 50 LPG carriers, including two chartered-in LPG carriers, two 2008-built product carriers, a 2009-built product carrier and a 2010-built Aframax crude oil tanker.

Star Bulk Carriers Company Profile

Star Bulk Carriers Corp. is an international shipping company. The Company owns and operates a fleet of dry bulk carrier vessels. As of December 31, 2016, the Company’s fleet included 73 vessels consisting primarily of Newcastlemax and Capesize, as well as Kamsarmax, Ultramax and Supramax vessels with a carrying capacity between 52,055 and 209,537 deadweight tonnage (dwt). The Company’s vessels transport a range of bulk commodities, including ores, coal, grains and fertilizers, along shipping routes across the world. The Company’s fleet, which emphasizes Capesize vessels, primarily transports minerals from the Americas and Australia to East Asia, particularly China, as well as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia and Malaysia. The Company’s Supramax vessels carry minerals, grain products and steel between the Americas, Europe, Africa, Australia and Indonesia, and from these areas to China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines and Malaysia.

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