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

Insider and Institutional Ownership

0.1% of Pyxis Tankers shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 74.1% of Star Bulk Carriers Corp. shares are owned by institutional investors. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility and Risk

Pyxis Tankers has a beta of 5.86, indicating that its stock price is 486% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Star Bulk Carriers Corp. has a beta of 2.8, indicating that its stock price is 180% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for Pyxis Tankers and Star Bulk Carriers Corp., as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Pyxis Tankers 0 0 2 0 3.00
Star Bulk Carriers Corp. 0 1 6 0 2.86

Pyxis Tankers currently has a consensus price target of $3.25, suggesting a potential upside of 90.06%. Star Bulk Carriers Corp. has a consensus price target of $13.20, suggesting a potential upside of 40.28%. Given Pyxis Tankers’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Pyxis Tankers is more favorable than Star Bulk Carriers Corp..

Profitability

This table compares Pyxis Tankers and Star Bulk Carriers Corp.’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Pyxis Tankers -32.43% -20.58% -7.50%
Star Bulk Carriers Corp. -13.04% -3.85% -1.93%

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Pyxis Tankers and Star Bulk Carriers Corp.’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Pyxis Tankers $30.71 million 1.02 -$5.81 million ($0.52) -3.29
Star Bulk Carriers Corp. $222.11 million 2.72 -$154.22 million ($1.87) -5.03

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

Summary

Star Bulk Carriers Corp. beats Pyxis Tankers on 7 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

Pyxis Tankers Company Profile

Pyxis Tankers Inc. is a holding company. The Company is an international maritime transportation company focused on the product tanker sector. It owns a fleet of six double hull product tankers: Pyxis Epsilon with carrying capacity of approximately 50,300 deadweight tonnage (dwt); Pyxis Theta with carrying capacity of approximately 51,800 dwt, Pyxis Malou with carrying capacity of over 50,670 dwt; Pyxis Delta with carrying capacity of approximately 46,620 dwt; Northsea Beta with carrying capacity of over 8,650 dwt, and Northsea Alpha with carrying capacity of approximately 8,615 dwt. Four of the Company’s vessels in the fleet are medium-range (MR), product tankers, three have eco-efficient or eco-modified designs, and two of them are short-range tanker sister ships. Its fleet is capable of transporting refined petroleum products, such as naphtha, gasoline, jet fuel, kerosene, diesel and fuel oil, as well as other liquid bulk items, such as vegetable oils and organic chemicals.

Star Bulk Carriers Corp. 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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