Safe Bulkers (NYSE: SB) and Tsakos Energy Navigation (NYSE:TNP) are both small-cap transportation companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, earnings, dividends, profitability, valuation, risk and analyst recommendations.

Volatility & Risk

Safe Bulkers has a beta of 2.34, suggesting that its stock price is 134% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Tsakos Energy Navigation has a beta of 1.69, suggesting that its stock price is 69% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Safe Bulkers and Tsakos Energy Navigation’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Safe Bulkers $127.17 million 2.73 $59.75 million ($0.57) -6.02
Tsakos Energy Navigation $497.94 million 0.75 $195.68 million $0.39 11.46

Tsakos Energy Navigation has higher revenue and earnings than Safe Bulkers. Safe Bulkers is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Tsakos Energy Navigation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Dividends

Tsakos Energy Navigation pays an annual dividend of $0.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.5%. Safe Bulkers does not pay a dividend. Tsakos Energy Navigation pays out 51.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Safe Bulkers has increased its dividend for 3 consecutive years.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

19.0% of Safe Bulkers shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 26.0% of Tsakos Energy Navigation shares are held by institutional investors. 1.0% of Tsakos Energy Navigation shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Safe Bulkers and Tsakos Energy Navigation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Safe Bulkers -26.74% -3.34% -1.61%
Tsakos Energy Navigation 9.61% 3.40% 1.51%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and price targets for Safe Bulkers and Tsakos Energy Navigation, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Safe Bulkers 0 4 3 0 2.43
Tsakos Energy Navigation 0 2 5 0 2.71

Safe Bulkers currently has a consensus target price of $3.19, indicating a potential downside of 7.07%. Tsakos Energy Navigation has a consensus target price of $5.75, indicating a potential upside of 28.64%. Given Tsakos Energy Navigation’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Tsakos Energy Navigation is more favorable than Safe Bulkers.

Summary

Tsakos Energy Navigation beats Safe Bulkers on 12 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Safe Bulkers

Safe Bulkers, Inc. is a holding company. The Company’s principal business is the acquisition, ownership and operation of drybulk vessels. The Company’s vessels operate across the world, carrying drybulk cargo for the consumers of marine drybulk transportation services. The Company is an international provider of marine drybulk transportation services, transporting bulk cargoes, particularly coal, grain and iron ore, along shipping routes across the world. As of February 17, 2017 the Company’s fleet included 38 vessels, of which 14 are Panamax class vessels, nine are Kamsarmax class vessels, 12 are Post-Panamax class vessels and three are Capesize class vessels, with an aggregate carrying capacity of 3,421,800 deadweight tonnage (dwt). The Company’s fleet of Post-Panamax vessels includes Marina, Xenia, Sophia, Eleni, Martine, Andreas K, Panayiota K, Venus Heritage, Venus History, Venus Horizon and Troodos Sun. Its fleet of Capesize vessels includes Kanaris, Pelopidas and Lake Despina.

About Tsakos Energy Navigation

Tsakos Energy Navigation Ltd is a provider of international seaborne crude oil and petroleum product transportation services. The Company operates through maritime transportation of liquid energy related products segment. It operates a fleet of approximately 57 modern crude oil and petroleum product tankers that provide marine transportation services for national and other independent oil companies and refiners under long, medium and short-term charters. Its fleet also includes a liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier and over two shuttle suezmax tankers with dynamic positioning technology (DP2). This fleet diversity includes a range of sister ships. The Company‚Äôs fleet consists of 65 double-hull vessels totaling 7.2 million deadweight tonnage. Its diversified fleet, which includes VLCC, suezmax, aframax, panamax, handysize, handymax tankers, LNG carrier and DP2 shuttle tankers, allows it to serve its customers’ international petroleum product and crude oil transportation needs.

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