StealthGas (NASDAQ: GASS) and Hornbeck Offshore Services (NYSE:HOS) are both small-cap transportation companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, profitability, dividends, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, earnings and risk.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings for StealthGas and Hornbeck Offshore Services, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
StealthGas 0 1 1 0 2.50
Hornbeck Offshore Services 0 4 0 0 2.00

StealthGas presently has a consensus price target of $5.50, indicating a potential upside of 83.95%. Hornbeck Offshore Services has a consensus price target of $4.75, indicating a potential upside of 74.63%. Given StealthGas’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities analysts plainly believe StealthGas is more favorable than Hornbeck Offshore Services.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

62.7% of StealthGas shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 97.5% of Hornbeck Offshore Services shares are held by institutional investors. 7.1% of Hornbeck Offshore Services shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Risk and Volatility

StealthGas has a beta of 1.76, meaning that its share price is 76% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Hornbeck Offshore Services has a beta of 1.21, meaning that its share price is 21% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares StealthGas and Hornbeck Offshore Services’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
StealthGas -4.41% -0.09% -0.05%
Hornbeck Offshore Services -47.42% -6.72% -3.29%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares StealthGas and Hornbeck Offshore Services’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
StealthGas $145.72 million 0.82 $53.43 million ($0.16) -18.69
Hornbeck Offshore Services $175.31 million 0.57 $13.13 million ($2.27) -1.20

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

Summary

StealthGas beats Hornbeck Offshore Services on 10 of the 13 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 Hornbeck Offshore Services

Hornbeck Offshore Services Inc. provides marine transportation, subsea installation and accommodation support services to exploration and production, oilfield service, offshore construction and the United States military customers. The Company focuses on providing marine solutions for the deepwater and ultradeepwater energy industry in domestic and select foreign locations. The Company, through its subsidiaries, operates offshore supply vessels (OSVs), multi-purpose support vessels (MPSVs), and a shore-base facility to provide logistics support and specialty services to the offshore oil and gas exploration and production industry, primarily in the United States, Gulf of Mexico, Latin America and selected international markets. Its OSVs and MPSVs support the deep-well, deepwater and ultra-deepwater activities of the offshore oil and gas industry. It provides vessel management services for other vessel owners, such as crewing, daily operational management and maintenance activities.

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