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Another Choppy Day for Dry-Bulk Shippers

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It's another choppy day for dry-bulk shippers. DryShips (DRYS), Genco Shipping & Trading (GNK), Diana Shipping (DSX) and Navios Maritime Partners (NMM) each saw losses over Friday.

The industry was selling off after dry-bulk shipping rates fell again overnight. The Baltic Dry Index, which measures activity along the world's major shipping routes, saw a 25-point decrease to 1,246.

Capesize shipping rates, the measure for vehicles which can carry 150,000 metric tons of cargo or higher, fell 5.1% to $11,128 a day.

By early afternoon, DryShips had plummeted 7.4% to $3.49, Genco unloaded 6.4% to $2.33, Diana Shipping took off 5.6% to $11.85, and Navios dropped 5.5% to $18.03.

TheStreet Ratings team rates NAVIOS MARITIME PARTNERS LP as a Buy with a ratings score of B+. The team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate NAVIOS MARITIME PARTNERS LP (NMM) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, NMM's share price has jumped by 36.38%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, NMM should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • The gross profit margin for NAVIOS MARITIME PARTNERS LP is currently very high, coming in at 91.87%. Regardless of NMM's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, NMM's net profit margin of 28.17% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio shows mixed results, the company's quick ratio of 5.74 is very high and demonstrates very strong liquidity.
  • NMM, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 9.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 16.1%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • NAVIOS MARITIME PARTNERS LP's earnings per share declined by 45.9% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, NAVIOS MARITIME PARTNERS LP increased its bottom line by earning $1.64 versus $1.19 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 48.8% in earnings ($0.84 versus $1.64).

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