DryShips (NASDAQ: DRYS) and StealthGas (NASDAQ:GASS) are both small-cap transportation companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, dividends, earnings, profitabiliy, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership and valuation.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

6.4% of DryShips shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 62.7% of StealthGas shares are held by institutional investors. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares DryShips and StealthGas’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
DryShips -219.71% -96.36% -36.23%
StealthGas -4.41% -0.09% -0.05%

Risk & Volatility

DryShips has a beta of 2.44, suggesting that its share price is 144% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, StealthGas has a beta of 1.78, suggesting that its share price is 78% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares DryShips and StealthGas’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
DryShips $46.72 million 0.01 -$36.42 million ($273,305.91) 0.00
StealthGas $145.72 million 0.80 $53.43 million ($0.16) -18.38

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

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for DryShips and StealthGas, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
DryShips 0 0 0 0 N/A
StealthGas 0 1 1 0 2.50

StealthGas has a consensus target price of $5.50, indicating a potential upside of 87.07%. Given StealthGas’ higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe StealthGas is more favorable than DryShips.

Dividends

DryShips pays an annual dividend of $0.28 per share and has a dividend yield of 26.9%. StealthGas does not pay a dividend. DryShips pays out 0.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Summary

StealthGas beats DryShips on 10 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About DryShips

DryShips, Inc. is a holding company. The Company owns drybulk carriers and offshore support vessels. The Company operates through two segments: the drybulk carrier and the offshore support. Under its drybulk segment, the Company operates as a provider of drybulk commodities transportation services for the steel, electric utility, construction and agri-food industries. Under its offshore support segment, the Company operates as a provider of offshore support services to the global offshore energy industry. The Offshore support segment operates a diversified fleet of offshore support vessels. It owns a fleet of approximately 20 Panamax drybulk carriers, which have a combined deadweight tonnage (dwt) of approximately 1.5 million dwt and an average age of approximately 10 years, and six offshore supply vessels, comprising over two platform supply and four oil spill recovery vessels, and have an average age of approximately 3.1 years.

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.

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