Scorpio Bulkers (NYSE: SALT) and Pyxis Tankers (NASDAQ:PXS) are both small-cap transportation companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, dividends, risk, institutional ownership, valuation, earnings and analyst recommendations.

Profitability

This table compares Scorpio Bulkers and Pyxis Tankers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Scorpio Bulkers -72.87% -7.52% -4.58%
Pyxis Tankers -31.98% -19.86% -7.47%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Scorpio Bulkers and Pyxis Tankers’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Scorpio Bulkers $123.25 million 4.78 $610,000.00 ($1.26) -6.51
Pyxis Tankers $30.54 million 1.04 $2.41 million ($0.53) -3.28

Pyxis Tankers has higher revenue, but lower earnings than Scorpio Bulkers. Scorpio Bulkers is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Pyxis Tankers, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

44.0% of Scorpio Bulkers shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 0.1% of Pyxis Tankers shares are held by institutional investors. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations for Scorpio Bulkers and Pyxis Tankers, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Scorpio Bulkers 0 2 4 0 2.67
Pyxis Tankers 0 0 2 0 3.00

Scorpio Bulkers currently has a consensus target price of $9.54, indicating a potential upside of 16.36%. Pyxis Tankers has a consensus target price of $3.75, indicating a potential upside of 115.69%. Given Pyxis Tankers’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Pyxis Tankers is more favorable than Scorpio Bulkers.

Volatility and Risk

Scorpio Bulkers has a beta of 3.61, meaning that its stock price is 261% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Pyxis Tankers has a beta of 6.1, meaning that its stock price is 510% more volatile than the S&P 500.

About Scorpio Bulkers

Scorpio Bulkers Inc. is a shipping company. The Company owns and operates newbuilding drybulk carriers with fuel-efficient specifications and carrying capacities of greater than 30,000 deadweight tons (dwt). The Company operates through two segments: Kamsarmax and Ultramax. Its Kamsarmax segment includes vessels ranging from approximately 77,500 DWT to 98,700 DWT. Its Ultramax segment includes vessels ranging from approximately 60,200 DWT to 64,000 DWT. All of its owned vessels have carrying capacities of greater than 60,000 dwt. Its vessels transport a range of bulk commodities, including ores, coal, grains and fertilizers, along shipping routes, and are employed primarily in the spot market or in spot market-oriented pools of similarly sized vessels. As of December 31, 2016, its operating fleet of 48 vessels consisted of 47 drybulk vessels and one chartered-in drybulk vessel. It also has a contract for the construction of one newbuilding drybulk vessel.

About Pyxis Tankers

Pyxis Tankers Inc. is a holding company. The Company is an international maritime transportation company focused on the product tanker sector. It owns a fleet of six double hull product tankers: Pyxis Epsilon with carrying capacity of approximately 50,300 deadweight tonnage (dwt); Pyxis Theta with carrying capacity of approximately 51,800 dwt, Pyxis Malou with carrying capacity of over 50,670 dwt; Pyxis Delta with carrying capacity of approximately 46,620 dwt; Northsea Beta with carrying capacity of over 8,650 dwt, and Northsea Alpha with carrying capacity of approximately 8,615 dwt. Four of the Company’s vessels in the fleet are medium-range (MR), product tankers, three have eco-efficient or eco-modified designs, and two of them are short-range tanker sister ships. Its fleet is capable of transporting refined petroleum products, such as naphtha, gasoline, jet fuel, kerosene, diesel and fuel oil, as well as other liquid bulk items, such as vegetable oils and organic chemicals.

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