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

Dividends

Costamare pays an annual dividend of $0.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 7.1%. Star Bulk Carriers does not pay a dividend. Costamare pays out 111.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

70.4% of Star Bulk Carriers shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 25.8% of Costamare shares are held by institutional investors. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Star Bulk Carriers -23.09% -4.04% -2.05%
Costamare 14.03% 7.57% 3.41%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for Star Bulk Carriers and Costamare, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Star Bulk Carriers 0 1 6 0 2.86
Costamare 0 3 2 0 2.40

Star Bulk Carriers presently has a consensus target price of $13.20, suggesting a potential upside of 34.56%. Costamare has a consensus target price of $7.10, suggesting a potential upside of 25.22%. Given Star Bulk Carriers’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Star Bulk Carriers is more favorable than Costamare.

Valuation and Earnings

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

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Star Bulk Carriers $222.11 million 2.83 -$154.22 million ($1.87) -5.25
Costamare $468.19 million 1.29 $81.70 million $0.36 15.75

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

Volatility and Risk

Star Bulk Carriers has a beta of 2.8, suggesting that its stock price is 180% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Costamare has a beta of 2.14, suggesting that its stock price is 114% more volatile than the S&P 500.

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.

Costamare Company Profile

Costamare Inc. (Costamare) is a holding company. The Company is an international owner of containerships. The Company is engaged in chartering its vessels to various liner companies. The Company provides marine transportation services around the world by chartering its container vessels to liner operators under long, medium and short-term time charters. As of March 10, 2017, the Company had a fleet of 69 containerships with a total capacity of approximately 456,000 TEU, including five newbuilds on order. The Company’s fleet of vessels includes Cosco Guangzhou, Titan, Cosco Yantian, Valor, Valiant and Maersk Kobe. Its subsidiaries include Adele Shipping Co., Bastian Shipping Co., Cadence Shipping Co., Jodie Shipping Co. and Kayley Shipping Co.

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