StealthGas (NASDAQ: GASS) and Seaspan Corporation (NYSE:SSW) are both small-cap transportation companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, earnings, analyst recommendations, valuation, institutional ownership, dividends and risk.

Profitability

This table compares StealthGas and Seaspan Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
StealthGas -4.41% 0.44% 0.25%
Seaspan Corporation -13.54% 7.51% 2.36%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and target prices for StealthGas and Seaspan Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
StealthGas 0 0 1 0 3.00
Seaspan Corporation 3 5 0 0 1.63

StealthGas currently has a consensus price target of $7.00, indicating a potential upside of 100.00%. Seaspan Corporation has a consensus price target of $6.79, indicating a potential downside of 2.36%. Given StealthGas’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities analysts clearly believe StealthGas is more favorable than Seaspan Corporation.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares StealthGas and Seaspan Corporation’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
StealthGas $149.25 million 0.93 $57.06 million ($0.16) -21.88
Seaspan Corporation $844.00 million 0.97 $501.00 million ($1.67) -4.16

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

Dividends

Seaspan Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.50 per share and has a dividend yield of 7.2%. StealthGas does not pay a dividend. Seaspan Corporation pays out -29.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. StealthGas has increased its dividend for 5 consecutive years.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

67.9% of StealthGas shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 15.3% of Seaspan Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility and Risk

StealthGas has a beta of 1.71, indicating that its stock price is 71% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Seaspan Corporation has a beta of 0.65, indicating that its stock price is 35% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

StealthGas beats Seaspan Corporation on 8 of the 15 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 Seaspan Corporation

Seaspan Corporation is an independent charter owner and manager of containerships. The Company charters pursuant to long-term, fixed-rate time charters with various container liner companies. As of February 20, 2017, it had operated a fleet of 88 containerships and had entered into contracts for the purchase of an additional eight new building containerships. Its operating vessels include YM Wish, YM Wellhead, YM Witness, COSCO Glory, COSCO Development, COSCO Harmony, COSCO Excellence, COSCO Hope, COSCO Fortune, Seaspan Yangtze, CSCL Zeebrugge, CSCL Long Beach, CSCL Oceania, COSCO Vietnam, MOL Emissary, Seaspan Chiwan, Seaspan Ningbo, Seaspan Felixstowe, CSCL Brisbane, Seaspan Santos, Seaspan Loncomilla, Seaspan Lingue, CSCL Montevideo, CSCL Callao, Guayaquil Bridge and Calicanto Bridge. The Company is engaged in the operation and management of vessel, including maintaining the vessel, periodic dry-docking, cleaning and painting and performing work required by regulations.

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