Eagle Bulk Shipping (NASDAQ: EGLE) and International Shipholding (NYSE:ISH) are both small-cap transportation companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, valuation, earnings, risk, dividends, profitability and analyst recommendations.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

17.6% of Eagle Bulk Shipping shares are held by institutional investors. 0.4% of Eagle Bulk Shipping shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Eagle Bulk Shipping and International Shipholding’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Eagle Bulk Shipping -83.12% -10.21% -6.19%
International Shipholding -15.98% -47.90% -10.59%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Eagle Bulk Shipping and International Shipholding’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Eagle Bulk Shipping $124.49 million 2.70 -$223.52 million ($3.36) -1.35
International Shipholding N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

International Shipholding has higher revenue, but lower earnings than Eagle Bulk Shipping.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings for Eagle Bulk Shipping and International Shipholding, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Eagle Bulk Shipping 0 1 1 0 2.50
International Shipholding 0 0 0 0 N/A

Eagle Bulk Shipping currently has a consensus target price of $5.75, suggesting a potential upside of 26.93%.

Volatility and Risk

Eagle Bulk Shipping has a beta of 3.45, meaning that its share price is 245% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, International Shipholding has a beta of 1.53, meaning that its share price is 53% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Eagle Bulk Shipping beats International Shipholding on 7 of the 8 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Eagle Bulk Shipping

Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. is engaged primarily in the ocean transportation of a range of major and minor bulk cargoes, including iron ore, coal, grain, cement and fertilizer, along worldwide shipping routes. The Company operates in the Handymax sector of the dry bulk industry, with particular emphasis on the Supramax class of vessels. The Company owns Supramax dry bulk vessel. Supramax dry bulk vessels range in size from 50,000 to 60,000 deadweight tons. These vessels have the cargo loading and unloading flexibility of on-board cranes while offering cargo carrying capacities approaching that of Panamax dry bulk vessels, which range in size from 60,000 to 100,000 deadweight tons and must rely on port facilities to load and offload their cargoes. On July 26, 2011 the Company sold its the Heron, a Supramax class of vessel.

About International Shipholding

International Shipholding Corporation is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, operates a diversified fleet of the United States and international-flagged vessels that provide domestic and international maritime transportation services under medium to long-term time charters or contracts of affreightment. It operates through three segments: Jones Act, which deploys over two bulk carriers, over three integrated tug or barge units, each consisting of one tug and one barge, and one harbor tug acquired; one belt self-unloading coal carrier to transport coal under a time charter, and one vessel that transports molten sulfur under a contract of affreightment; Pure Car Truck Carriers (PCTCs), which deploys over five PCTCs, including over four United States flag vessels and one international-flagged vessel, and Rail-Ferry, which uses its two roll-on or roll-off special purpose double deck vessels that carry rail cars between the United States Gulf Coast and Mexico.

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