Navios Maritime Partners (NYSE: NMM) and Baltic Trading (NYSE:BALT) are both small-cap transportation companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, dividends, profitability, earnings, valuation, institutional ownership and analyst recommendations.

Risk and Volatility

Navios Maritime Partners has a beta of 1.87, suggesting that its stock price is 87% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Baltic Trading has a beta of 1.33, suggesting that its stock price is 33% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Navios Maritime Partners and Baltic Trading’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Navios Maritime Partners $190.52 million 1.52 -$52.54 million $0.01 197.20
Baltic Trading N/A N/A N/A ($1.14) -1.37

Baltic Trading has higher revenue, but lower earnings than Navios Maritime Partners. Baltic Trading is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Navios Maritime Partners, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

17.5% of Navios Maritime Partners shares are owned by institutional investors. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Navios Maritime Partners and Baltic Trading’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Navios Maritime Partners 2.79% 2.56% 1.50%
Baltic Trading -613.08% -49.39% -30.66%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and price targets for Navios Maritime Partners and Baltic Trading, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Navios Maritime Partners 0 2 1 0 2.33
Baltic Trading 0 0 0 0 N/A

Navios Maritime Partners currently has a consensus price target of $2.17, indicating a potential upside of 9.98%. Given Navios Maritime Partners’ higher possible upside, equities analysts plainly believe Navios Maritime Partners is more favorable than Baltic Trading.

Summary

Navios Maritime Partners beats Baltic Trading on 9 of the 9 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Navios Maritime Partners

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 Baltic Trading

Baltic Trading Limited is a shipping business focused on the drybulk industry spot market. The Company’s fleet consists of four Capesize vessels, two Ultramax vessels, four Supramax vessels and five Handysize vessels with an aggregate carrying capacity of approximately 1,221,000 deadweight tons. Its fleet contains six groups of sister ships, which are vessels of virtually identical sizes and specifications. It operates a fleet of drybulk ships that transport iron ore, coal, grain, steel products and other drybulk cargoes along shipping routes around the world. It operates its vessels on spot market-related time charters, short-term time charters or in vessel pools trading in the spot market. Genco Shipping & Trading Limited (Genco) serves as the Company’s manager. Genco provides it with commercial and strategic management of its fleet.

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