Costamare (NYSE: CMRE) and Golar LNG Partners (NASDAQ:GMLP) are both small-cap transportation companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, institutional ownership, risk, analyst recommendations, profitabiliy, valuation and dividends.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Costamare and Golar LNG Partners, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Costamare 0 5 3 0 2.38
Golar LNG Partners 0 3 1 0 2.25

Costamare currently has a consensus price target of $8.50, suggesting a potential upside of 24.27%. Golar LNG Partners has a consensus price target of $21.50, suggesting a potential upside of 9.81%. Given Costamare’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Costamare is more favorable than Golar LNG Partners.

Volatility & Risk

Costamare has a beta of 2.24, suggesting that its stock price is 124% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Golar LNG Partners has a beta of 0.91, suggesting that its stock price is 9% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

18.6% of Costamare shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 77.4% of Golar LNG Partners shares are owned by institutional investors. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

Costamare pays an annual dividend of $0.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.8%. Golar LNG Partners pays an annual dividend of $2.31 per share and has a dividend yield of 11.8%. Costamare pays out 64.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Golar LNG Partners pays out 82.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future.

Profitability

This table compares Costamare and Golar LNG Partners’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Costamare 15.38% 10.50% 4.27%
Golar LNG Partners 40.50% 30.57% 7.84%

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Costamare and Golar LNG Partners’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Costamare $453.44 million 1.38 $295.35 million $0.62 11.03
Golar LNG Partners $441.92 million 3.13 $366.28 million $2.81 6.97

Golar LNG Partners has higher revenue, but lower earnings than Costamare. Golar LNG Partners is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Costamare, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Golar LNG Partners beats Costamare on 8 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.

Golar LNG Partners Company Profile

Golar LNG Partners LP owns and operates floating storage regasification units (FSRUs) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers under long-term time charters. The Company operates through the LNG market segment. The Company’s fleet consists of approximately six FSRUs and over four LNG carriers. The Company’s FSRU vessels include Golar Spirit, Golar Winter, Golar Freeze, NR Satu, Golar Igloo and Golar Eskimo. Its FSRU vessels have a total capacity of approximately 846,000 cubic meters. The Company’s LNG carriers include Golar Mazo, Methane Princess, Golar Grand and Golar Maria. Its LNG carriers have a total capacity of over 564,400 cubic meters.

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