Ardmore Shipping Corporation (NYSE: ASC) and Pyxis Tankers (NASDAQ:PXS) are both small-cap transportation companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, profitability, dividends, analyst recommendations, earnings, institutional ownership and risk.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for Ardmore Shipping Corporation and Pyxis Tankers, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Ardmore Shipping Corporation 0 1 4 0 2.80
Pyxis Tankers 0 0 2 0 3.00

Ardmore Shipping Corporation presently has a consensus target price of $10.50, indicating a potential upside of 42.86%. Pyxis Tankers has a consensus target price of $3.75, indicating a potential upside of 87.50%. Given Pyxis Tankers’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Pyxis Tankers is more favorable than Ardmore Shipping Corporation.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Ardmore Shipping Corporation and Pyxis Tankers’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ardmore Shipping Corporation $180.66 million 1.37 $43.97 million ($0.37) -19.86
Pyxis Tankers $30.54 million 1.20 $2.41 million ($0.53) -3.77

Ardmore Shipping Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Pyxis Tankers. Ardmore Shipping Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Pyxis Tankers, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

76.5% of Ardmore Shipping Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 0.1% of Pyxis Tankers shares are owned by institutional investors. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Ardmore Shipping Corporation and Pyxis Tankers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Ardmore Shipping Corporation -6.92% -2.35% -1.08%
Pyxis Tankers -31.98% -19.86% -7.47%

Risk & Volatility

Ardmore Shipping Corporation has a beta of 1.35, indicating that its stock price is 35% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Pyxis Tankers has a beta of 6.2, indicating that its stock price is 520% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Ardmore Shipping Corporation beats Pyxis Tankers on 9 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Ardmore Shipping Corporation

Ardmore Shipping Corporation provides seaborne transportation of petroleum products and chemicals to national oil companies, oil and chemical traders, and chemical companies, with its fleet of mid-size product and chemical tankers. The Company’s segment relates to the operations of its vessels. The Company’s fleet consists of over 20 double-hulled product and chemical tankers, all of which are in operation. The Company’s vessels include Ardmore Seavaliant, Ardmore Seaventure, Ardmore Seavantage, Ardmore Seavanguard, Ardmore Sealion, Ardmore Seafox, Ardmore Seahawk, Ardmore Endeavour, Ardmore Seafarer, Ardmore Seatrader, Ardmore Seamaster and Ardmore Sealeader. The Company has over 30 subsidiaries, the majority of which represent single ship-owning companies for its fleet. Its subsidiaries include Ardmore Shipping (Bermuda) Limited (ASBL), Ardmore Shipping Services (Ireland) Limited (ASSIL), Ardmore Shipping (Asia) Pte. Limited and Ardmore Shipping (Americas) LLC.

About Pyxis Tankers

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.

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