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

Valuation and Earnings

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

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Costamare $468.19 million 1.29 $81.70 million $0.36 15.75
Star Bulk Carriers $222.11 million 3.08 -$154.22 million ($1.87) -5.71

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.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for Costamare and Star Bulk Carriers, as provided by MarketBeat.

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

Costamare presently has a consensus price target of $7.10, suggesting a potential upside of 25.22%. Star Bulk Carriers has a consensus price target of $13.20, suggesting a potential upside of 23.60%. Given Costamare’s higher probable upside, research analysts clearly believe Costamare is more favorable than Star Bulk Carriers.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

25.8% of Costamare shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 70.4% of Star Bulk Carriers shares are owned by institutional investors. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

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

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

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.

Risk and Volatility

Costamare has a beta of 2.11, indicating that its share price is 111% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Star Bulk Carriers has a beta of 2.74, indicating that its share price is 174% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Costamare beats Star Bulk Carriers on 8 of the 14 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.

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.

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