Navios Maritime Partners L.P. (NYSE: NMM) and Star Bulk Carriers Corp. (NASDAQ:SBLK) are both small-cap industrials companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, earnings, risk, dividends, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership and valuation.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

17.1% of Navios Maritime Partners L.P. shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 75.0% of Star Bulk Carriers Corp. shares are held by institutional investors. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Navios Maritime Partners L.P. and Star Bulk Carriers Corp.’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Navios Maritime Partners L.P. 8.89% 2.04% 1.37%
Star Bulk Carriers Corp. -36.90% -5.54% -2.83%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Navios Maritime Partners L.P. and Star Bulk Carriers Corp., as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Navios Maritime Partners L.P. 0 2 1 0 2.33
Star Bulk Carriers Corp. 0 1 6 0 2.86

Navios Maritime Partners L.P. presently has a consensus target price of $2.17, suggesting a potential downside of 1.52%. Star Bulk Carriers Corp. has a consensus target price of $12.80, suggesting a potential upside of 17.32%. Given Star Bulk Carriers Corp.’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Star Bulk Carriers Corp. is more favorable than Navios Maritime Partners L.P..

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Navios Maritime Partners L.P. and Star Bulk Carriers Corp.’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Navios Maritime Partners L.P. $192.44 million 1.72 $104.34 million ($0.45) -4.89
Star Bulk Carriers Corp. $266.62 million 2.59 $59.97 million ($1.86) -5.87

Navios Maritime Partners L.P. has higher revenue, but lower earnings than Star Bulk Carriers Corp.. Star Bulk Carriers Corp. is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Navios Maritime Partners L.P., indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility and Risk

Navios Maritime Partners L.P. has a beta of 1.79, suggesting that its share price is 79% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Star Bulk Carriers Corp. has a beta of 2.92, suggesting that its share price is 192% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Star Bulk Carriers Corp. beats Navios Maritime Partners L.P. on 7 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Navios Maritime Partners L.P.

Navios Maritime Partners L.P. is an international owner and operator of dry cargo and container vessels. The Company is engaged in the seaborne transportation services of a range of dry cargo commodities, including iron ore, coal, grain and fertilizer, and also containers, chartering its vessels under medium to long-term charters. It focuses on providing seaborne shipping services under long-term time charters. As of December 31, 2016, it controlled 12 Panamax vessels, nine Capesize vessels, three Ultra-Handymax vessels and seven container vessels. Panamax vessels are vessels capable of carrying a range of dry cargo commodities, including iron ore, coal, grain and fertilizer and being accommodated in various discharge ports. Capesize vessels are dedicated to the carriage of iron ore and coal. Ultra-Handymax vessels are similar to Panamax vessels although with less carrying capacity, and have self-loading and discharging gear on board to accommodate undeveloped ports.

About Star Bulk Carriers Corp.

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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