Costamare (NYSE: CMRE) and Safe Bulkers (NYSE:SB) are both small-cap transportation companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, risk, profitability, valuation, analyst recommendations, dividends and institutional ownership.

Profitability

This table compares Costamare and Safe Bulkers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Costamare 12.70% 8.94% 3.83%
Safe Bulkers -26.74% -3.34% -1.61%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations for Costamare and Safe Bulkers, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Costamare 0 3 2 0 2.40
Safe Bulkers 0 4 3 0 2.43

Costamare presently has a consensus target price of $7.30, suggesting a potential upside of 16.99%. Safe Bulkers has a consensus target price of $3.19, suggesting a potential downside of 1.62%. Given Costamare’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Costamare is more favorable than Safe Bulkers.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Costamare and Safe Bulkers’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Costamare $438.93 million 1.51 $280.04 million $0.38 16.42
Safe Bulkers $127.17 million 2.58 $59.75 million ($0.57) -5.68

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

Risk & Volatility

Costamare has a beta of 2.17, suggesting that its share price is 117% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Safe Bulkers has a beta of 2.34, suggesting that its share price is 134% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Costamare pays an annual dividend of $0.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 6.4%. Safe Bulkers does not pay a dividend. Costamare pays out 105.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Safe Bulkers has raised its dividend for 3 consecutive years.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

27.0% of Costamare shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 19.0% of Safe Bulkers shares are held by institutional investors. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

Costamare beats Safe Bulkers on 9 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

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.

Safe Bulkers Company Profile

Safe Bulkers, Inc. is a holding company. The Company’s principal business is the acquisition, ownership and operation of drybulk vessels. The Company’s vessels operate across the world, carrying drybulk cargo for the consumers of marine drybulk transportation services. The Company is an international provider of marine drybulk transportation services, transporting bulk cargoes, particularly coal, grain and iron ore, along shipping routes across the world. As of February 17, 2017 the Company’s fleet included 38 vessels, of which 14 are Panamax class vessels, nine are Kamsarmax class vessels, 12 are Post-Panamax class vessels and three are Capesize class vessels, with an aggregate carrying capacity of 3,421,800 deadweight tonnage (dwt). The Company’s fleet of Post-Panamax vessels includes Marina, Xenia, Sophia, Eleni, Martine, Andreas K, Panayiota K, Venus Heritage, Venus History, Venus Horizon and Troodos Sun. Its fleet of Capesize vessels includes Kanaris, Pelopidas and Lake Despina.

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