Costamare (NYSE: CMRE) and Danaos Corporation (NYSE:DAC) are both small-cap transportation companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, earnings, profitability, dividends, risk, institutional ownership and analyst recommendations.

Profitability

This table compares Costamare and Danaos Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Costamare 12.70% 8.94% 3.83%
Danaos Corporation -92.96% 16.72% 3.09%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Costamare and Danaos Corporation’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Costamare $438.93 million 1.49 $280.04 million $0.38 16.18
Danaos Corporation $447.83 million 0.36 $281.14 million ($3.80) -0.38

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

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for Costamare and Danaos Corporation, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Costamare 0 3 2 0 2.40
Danaos Corporation 0 2 0 0 2.00

Costamare currently has a consensus target price of $7.30, indicating a potential upside of 18.70%. Danaos Corporation has a consensus target price of $3.00, indicating a potential upside of 106.90%. Given Danaos Corporation’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Danaos Corporation is more favorable than Costamare.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

27.0% of Costamare shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 1.9% of Danaos Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

Costamare pays an annual dividend of $0.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 6.5%. Danaos Corporation does not pay a dividend. Costamare pays out 105.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future.

Volatility and Risk

Costamare has a beta of 2.17, meaning that its share price is 117% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Danaos Corporation has a beta of 1.37, meaning that its share price is 37% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Costamare beats Danaos Corporation on 10 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Costamare

Costamare Inc. (Costamare) is a holding company. The Company is an international owner of containerships. The Company is engaged in chartering its vessels to various liner companies. The Company provides marine transportation services around the world by chartering its container vessels to liner operators under long, medium and short-term time charters. As of March 10, 2017, the Company had a fleet of 69 containerships with a total capacity of approximately 456,000 TEU, including five newbuilds on order. The Company’s fleet of vessels includes Cosco Guangzhou, Titan, Cosco Yantian, Valor, Valiant and Maersk Kobe. Its subsidiaries include Adele Shipping Co., Bastian Shipping Co., Cadence Shipping Co., Jodie Shipping Co. and Kayley Shipping Co.

About Danaos Corporation

Danaos Corporation is a holding company and an international owner of containerships, chartering its vessels to a range of liner companies. The Company’s principal business is the acquisition and operation of vessels. The Company conducts its operations through the vessel owning companies, whose principal activity is the ownership and operation of containerships that are under the management of a related party of the company. The Company’s manager is Danaos Shipping Company Limited (Danaos Shipping). The Company has a fleet of over 50 containerships aggregating approximately 329,590 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). Its containership fleet includes approximately 53 containerships deployed on time charters and approximately two containerships deployed on bareboat charter. Gemini Shipholdings Corporation (Gemini), a company beneficially owned by the Company, owns approximately four additional containerships of over 24,000 TEU aggregate capacity.

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