Star Bulk Carriers Corp. (NASDAQ: SBLK) and Hornbeck Offshore Services (NYSE:HOS) are both small-cap transportation companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, earnings, valuation, institutional ownership, profitability, risk and analyst recommendations.

Profitability

This table compares Star Bulk Carriers Corp. and Hornbeck Offshore Services’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Star Bulk Carriers Corp. -36.90% -5.54% -2.83%
Hornbeck Offshore Services -47.42% -6.72% -3.29%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Star Bulk Carriers Corp. and Hornbeck Offshore Services, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Star Bulk Carriers Corp. 0 1 6 0 2.86
Hornbeck Offshore Services 0 4 0 0 2.00

Star Bulk Carriers Corp. currently has a consensus price target of $12.80, indicating a potential upside of 19.29%. Hornbeck Offshore Services has a consensus price target of $4.75, indicating a potential upside of 28.03%. Given Hornbeck Offshore Services’ higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Hornbeck Offshore Services is more favorable than Star Bulk Carriers Corp..

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Star Bulk Carriers Corp. and Hornbeck Offshore Services’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Star Bulk Carriers Corp. $266.62 million 2.55 $59.97 million ($1.86) -5.77
Hornbeck Offshore Services $175.31 million 0.78 $13.13 million ($2.27) -1.63

Star Bulk Carriers Corp. has higher revenue and earnings than Hornbeck Offshore Services. Star Bulk Carriers Corp. 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.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

75.0% of Star Bulk Carriers Corp. shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 86.7% of Hornbeck Offshore Services shares are owned by institutional investors. 7.1% of Hornbeck Offshore Services shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Risk and Volatility

Star Bulk Carriers Corp. has a beta of 2.92, meaning that its share price is 192% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Hornbeck Offshore Services has a beta of 1.2, meaning that its share price is 20% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Star Bulk Carriers Corp. beats Hornbeck Offshore Services on 10 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

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.

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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