Star Bulk Carriers Corp. (NASDAQ: SBLK) and Hornbeck Offshore Services (NYSE:HOS) are both small-cap transportation companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, earnings, dividends, profitability, valuation and risk.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for Star Bulk Carriers Corp. and Hornbeck Offshore Services, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Star Bulk Carriers Corp. 0 1 6 0 2.86
Hornbeck Offshore Services 0 4 0 0 2.00

Star Bulk Carriers Corp. currently has a consensus target price of $12.80, indicating a potential upside of 22.72%. Hornbeck Offshore Services has a consensus target price of $4.75, indicating a potential upside of 19.05%. Given Star Bulk Carriers Corp.’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities analysts clearly believe Star Bulk Carriers Corp. is more favorable than Hornbeck Offshore Services.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Star Bulk Carriers Corp. and Hornbeck Offshore Services’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Star Bulk Carriers Corp. $266.62 million 2.48 $59.97 million ($1.86) -5.61
Hornbeck Offshore Services $175.31 million 0.84 $13.13 million ($2.27) -1.76

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

Institutional and Insider Ownership

75.0% of Star Bulk Carriers Corp. shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 86.7% of Hornbeck Offshore Services shares are held by institutional investors. 7.1% of Hornbeck Offshore Services shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Star Bulk Carriers Corp. and Hornbeck Offshore Services’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Star Bulk Carriers Corp. -36.90% -5.54% -2.83%
Hornbeck Offshore Services -47.42% -6.72% -3.29%

Volatility and Risk

Star Bulk Carriers Corp. has a beta of 2.92, suggesting that its stock price is 192% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Hornbeck Offshore Services has a beta of 1.2, suggesting that its stock price is 20% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Star Bulk Carriers Corp. beats Hornbeck Offshore Services on 11 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

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.

Hornbeck Offshore Services Company Profile

Hornbeck Offshore Services Inc. provides marine transportation, subsea installation and accommodation support services to exploration and production, oilfield service, offshore construction and the United States military customers. The Company focuses on providing marine solutions for the deepwater and ultradeepwater energy industry in domestic and select foreign locations. The Company, through its subsidiaries, operates offshore supply vessels (OSVs), multi-purpose support vessels (MPSVs), and a shore-base facility to provide logistics support and specialty services to the offshore oil and gas exploration and production industry, primarily in the United States, Gulf of Mexico, Latin America and selected international markets. Its OSVs and MPSVs support the deep-well, deepwater and ultra-deepwater activities of the offshore oil and gas industry. It provides vessel management services for other vessel owners, such as crewing, daily operational management and maintenance activities.

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