This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

This Newcomer Shipping Stock Will Take Off

Shares of marine shipping and small-cap energy services stocks have been hammered over the past week for reasons that have more to do with profit-taking than anything fundamental .

Of course, when your stocks go down in value you sometimes don't really care if it's due to something wrong with the business or the fact that recent momentum traders are exiting. It all feels the same.

No one has a perfect view of the future, but it sure looks to me like this is a great opportunity to pick up shares of leading dry-bulk shippers like Genco Shipping & Trading (GNK - Get Report), Dry Ships (DRYS - Get Report), Navios Maritime (NM - Get Report) and Paragon Shipping (PRGN - Get Report) while they endure this rough spot.

Let me give you a quick update on the marine shippers, and then introduce Oceanaut (OKN), a risky but promising new name that even longtime followers of the group may not know about.

Whenever stocks have violent shakeouts while perched materially above long-term support, as these have, they become very vulnerable to panicked selling by momentum traders who know nothing about their business. But ultimately investors with more knowledge about the real worth of the companies step up and support the stocks by taking advantage of substantial dips, and that is what should happen in this case.

According to analysts at Jefferies and Cantor Fitzgerald, the spot charter rates of Capesize dry-bulk ships fell last week as the amount of space available on ships grew. The supply increased because Chinese steel makers have begun to draw down their iron ore inventories rather than bring in more supply while they initiate annual negotiations with miners over 2008 prices.

Jefferies and Cantor both believe that charter pricing will get back on track and move higher again once the negotiations mature, as the Chinese cannot pull down their inventories very long.

Lazard Capital Markets analyst Urs Dur told me Monday afternoon that the volatility at this time of year might be news for new investors in the group, but anyone who has been around dry-bulk shipping for a few years knows that this type of gamesmanship on pricing, both by Chinese buyers and the Chinese media, is typical and not indicative of deals that will ultimately be struck. Dur noted that the Chinese ore buyers whined about pricing last year but acquiesced in the end.

The key is to watch not what the Chinese are doing, but what the actual charterers of ships are doing. He said that the iron ore miners like BHP Billiton (BHP) of Australia are trying to lock in charters at today's prices for three to five years. Given that charter rates are now at their highest point in history, when you see smart cargo owners are willing to pay a lot for a long time it tells you that they think rates will be higher next year.

To put a number on it, Dur said that in 2007 through last week, ore shippers finalized 451 charters of over one year in length. In all of 2006 the number was 246, and in 2005, the number was 176. "Companies with major mining commitments need capacity to move their cargoes to a very hungry China," said Dur. "China saying that they are going to stop consuming iron ore is like America saying that they are going to stop consuming McDonald's hamburgers."

Not gonna happen, in other words.

So demand for dry-bulk ships isn't deteriorating, so don't get spooked out of the industry. All the stocks in the group are buys, though my favorite is Genco due to its superior management, youthful fleet, long-term focus and charter coverage through much of next year.

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
GNK $0.00 0.00%
DRYS $0.80 0.00%
NM $3.56 0.00%
PRGN $0.81 0.00%
AAPL $132.54 0.00%

Markets

DOW 18,232.02 -53.72 -0.29%
S&P 500 2,126.06 -4.76 -0.22%
NASDAQ 5,089.3620 -1.4320 -0.03%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs