Navios Maritime Partners (NYSE: NMM) and Ardmore Shipping Corporation (NYSE:ASC) are both small-cap transportation companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, risk, earnings, analyst recommendations, valuation, dividends and institutional ownership.

Volatility and Risk

Navios Maritime Partners has a beta of 1.83, meaning that its share price is 83% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Ardmore Shipping Corporation has a beta of 1.35, meaning that its share price is 35% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

20.0% of Navios Maritime Partners shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 76.4% of Ardmore Shipping Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Navios Maritime Partners and Ardmore Shipping Corporation’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Navios Maritime Partners $192.44 million 1.59 $104.34 million ($0.45) -4.62
Ardmore Shipping Corporation $180.66 million 1.48 $43.97 million ($0.37) -21.49

Navios Maritime Partners has higher revenue and earnings than Ardmore Shipping Corporation. Ardmore Shipping Corporation 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.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Navios Maritime Partners and Ardmore Shipping Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Navios Maritime Partners 0 2 1 0 2.33
Ardmore Shipping Corporation 0 1 4 0 2.80

Navios Maritime Partners currently has a consensus target price of $2.17, suggesting a potential upside of 4.17%. Ardmore Shipping Corporation has a consensus target price of $10.50, suggesting a potential upside of 32.08%. Given Ardmore Shipping Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Ardmore Shipping Corporation is more favorable than Navios Maritime Partners.

Profitability

This table compares Navios Maritime Partners and Ardmore Shipping Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Navios Maritime Partners -19.50% 2.60% 1.49%
Ardmore Shipping Corporation -6.92% -2.35% -1.08%

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 Ardmore Shipping Corporation

Ardmore Shipping Corporation provides seaborne transportation of petroleum products and chemicals to national oil companies, oil and chemical traders, and chemical companies, with its fleet of mid-size product and chemical tankers. The Company’s segment relates to the operations of its vessels. The Company’s fleet consists of over 20 double-hulled product and chemical tankers, all of which are in operation. The Company’s vessels include Ardmore Seavaliant, Ardmore Seaventure, Ardmore Seavantage, Ardmore Seavanguard, Ardmore Sealion, Ardmore Seafox, Ardmore Seahawk, Ardmore Endeavour, Ardmore Seafarer, Ardmore Seatrader, Ardmore Seamaster and Ardmore Sealeader. The Company has over 30 subsidiaries, the majority of which represent single ship-owning companies for its fleet. Its subsidiaries include Ardmore Shipping (Bermuda) Limited (ASBL), Ardmore Shipping Services (Ireland) Limited (ASSIL), Ardmore Shipping (Asia) Pte. Limited and Ardmore Shipping (Americas) LLC.

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