Euroseas (NASDAQ: ESEA) and StealthGas (NASDAQ:GASS) 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, risk, valuation, profitability, earnings, analyst recommendations and institutional ownership.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for Euroseas and StealthGas, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Euroseas 0 0 1 0 3.00
StealthGas 0 0 1 0 3.00

Euroseas presently has a consensus price target of $3.00, suggesting a potential upside of 57.89%. StealthGas has a consensus price target of $7.00, suggesting a potential upside of 101.15%. Given StealthGas’ higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe StealthGas is more favorable than Euroseas.

Profitability

This table compares Euroseas and StealthGas’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Euroseas -77.39% -17.55% -6.51%
StealthGas -4.41% 0.44% 0.25%

Insider and Institutional Ownership

1.7% of Euroseas shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 67.9% of StealthGas shares are held by institutional investors. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Risk & Volatility

Euroseas has a beta of 1.66, meaning that its stock price is 66% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, StealthGas has a beta of 1.71, meaning that its stock price is 71% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Euroseas and StealthGas’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Euroseas $32.84 million 0.65 $3.25 million ($3.15) -0.60
StealthGas $149.25 million 0.93 $57.06 million ($0.16) -21.75

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

Summary

StealthGas beats Euroseas on 10 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Euroseas

Euroseas Ltd. is engaged in the shipping business. The Company is an owner and operator of drybulk and container carrier vessels and is a provider of seaborne transportation for drybulk and containerized cargoes. Eurobulk Ltd. manages the Company’s operations. The Company also owns and operates dry bulk carriers that transport major bulks, such as iron ore, coal and grains, and minor bulks, such as bauxite, phosphate and fertilizers. The Company has a fleet of 12 vessels, including Kamsarmax drybulk carrier, Panamax drybulk carriers and Handymax drybulk carrier, Intermediate containerships, Handysize containerships, and Feeder containerships. The Company‚Äôs five drybulk carriers have a total cargo capacity of 351,272 deadweight tons (dwt), and its seven containerships have a cargo capacity of 11,828 twenty-foot equivalent units (teu).

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.

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