StealthGas (NASDAQ: GASS) and Golden Ocean Group (NASDAQ:GOGL) are both small-cap transportation companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, profitability, risk, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, earnings and dividends.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares StealthGas and Golden Ocean Group’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
StealthGas $149.25 million 0.93 $57.06 million ($0.16) -21.81
Golden Ocean Group $339.88 million 3.20 $79.55 million ($0.46) -18.28

Golden Ocean Group has higher revenue and earnings than StealthGas. StealthGas is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Golden Ocean Group, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Risk and Volatility

StealthGas has a beta of 1.71, suggesting that its share price is 71% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Golden Ocean Group has a beta of 2.33, suggesting that its share price is 133% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for StealthGas and Golden Ocean Group, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
StealthGas 0 0 1 0 3.00
Golden Ocean Group 0 1 6 0 2.86

StealthGas presently has a consensus price target of $7.00, indicating a potential upside of 100.57%. Golden Ocean Group has a consensus price target of $11.33, indicating a potential upside of 34.76%. Given StealthGas’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, research analysts plainly believe StealthGas is more favorable than Golden Ocean Group.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

67.9% of StealthGas shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 10.5% of Golden Ocean Group shares are held by institutional investors. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares StealthGas and Golden Ocean Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
StealthGas -4.41% 0.44% 0.25%
Golden Ocean Group -12.00% -3.62% -1.85%

Summary

StealthGas beats Golden Ocean Group on 7 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

About StealthGas

StealthGas Inc. is a provider of international seaborne transportation services to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) producers and users, as well as crude oil and product carriers to oil producers, refineries and commodities traders. The Company owns a fleet of LPG carriers. Its LPG carriers carry various petroleum gas products in liquefied form, including propane, butane, butadiene, isopropane, propylene and vinyl chloride monomer, which are all byproducts of the production of crude oil and natural gas. The medium range product carriers in its fleet are capable of carrying refined petroleum products, such as gasoline, diesel, fuel oil and jet fuel, as well as edible oils and chemicals, while its Aframax tanker is used for carrying crude oil. Its fleet consists of approximately 50 LPG carriers, including two chartered-in LPG carriers, two 2008-built product carriers, a 2009-built product carrier and a 2010-built Aframax crude oil tanker.

About Golden Ocean Group

Golden Ocean Group Limited, formerly Knightsbridge Shipping Limited, is an international dry bulk shipping company. The Company is engaged in the transportation of dry bulk cargoes. It owns and operates a fleet of dry bulk carrier vessels, focusing on the Capesize, Panamax and Supramax markets. Its vessels transport a range of major and minor bulk commodities, including ores, coal, grains and fertilizers. Its fleet includes owned vessels, bareboat vessels, chartered vessels, commercial management vessels and newbuildings. It owns over 40 dry bulk carriers and has contracts for over 20 newbuildings. It also has over 10 vessels chartered-in (of which over eight are chartered in from Ship Finance and over five are chartered in from third parties) and over one vessel chartered-in through a joint venture. Approximately six of the vessels are chartered-out on fixed rate time charters and the other operates in the spot market or fixed on index-linked time charter contracts.

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