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


Ship Finance International pays an annual dividend of $1.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 9.9%. Star Bulk Carriers does not pay a dividend. Ship Finance International pays out 135.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Ship Finance International has increased its dividend for 7 consecutive years.

Risk & Volatility

Star Bulk Carriers has a beta of 1.67, meaning that its share price is 67% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Ship Finance International has a beta of 1.23, meaning that its share price is 23% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for Star Bulk Carriers and Ship Finance International, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Star Bulk Carriers 0 1 2 0 2.67
Ship Finance International 0 2 2 0 2.50

Star Bulk Carriers currently has a consensus price target of $15.00, indicating a potential upside of 46.91%. Ship Finance International has a consensus price target of $12.50, indicating a potential downside of 11.35%. Given Star Bulk Carriers’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Star Bulk Carriers is more favorable than Ship Finance International.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

56.7% of Star Bulk Carriers shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 29.8% of Ship Finance International shares are held by institutional investors. 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.


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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Star Bulk Carriers -0.99% 2.09% 1.05%
Ship Finance International 20.77% 8.93% 2.81%

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Star Bulk Carriers and Ship Finance International’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Star Bulk Carriers $651.56 million 1.45 $58.40 million $1.11 9.20
Ship Finance International $418.71 million 4.02 $73.62 million $1.03 13.69

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


Ship Finance International beats Star Bulk Carriers on 8 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

Star Bulk Carriers Company Profile

Star Bulk Carriers Corp., a shipping company, engages in the ocean transportation of dry bulk cargoes worldwide. Its vessels transport a range of major bulks, including iron ores, coal, and grains, as well as minor bulks, such as bauxite, fertilizers, and steel products. As of April 10, 2019, the company had a fleet of 109 vessels with an aggregate capacity of approximately 12.45 million deadweight ton, including 17 Newcastlemax, 19 Capesize, 2 Mini Capesize, 7 Post Panamax, 35 Kamsarmax, 2 Panamax, 17 Ultramax, and 10 Supramax vessels. It also provides vessel management services to dry bulk vessels of various sizes. The company was incorporated in 2006 and is based in Maroussi, Greece.

Ship Finance International Company Profile

Ship Finance International Ltd. engages in the ownership and operation of vessels and offshore related assets. It also involves in the charter, purchase, and sale of assets. Its assets include oil tankers, dry bulk carriers, container vessels, car carriers, jack-up drilling rig, ultra-deepwater drilling units, offshore supply vessels, and chemical tankers. The company was founded on October 10, 2003 and is headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda.

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