Jim Cramer made his opinion known on a slate of shipping stocks -- dry bulk carriers as well as tankers -- during his "Mad Money" broadcast Wednesday evening.
During the show's Lighting Round session, Cramer proclaimed his bullishness on
Nordic American Tanker
. On the flip side, he said he was bearish on
Eagle Bulk Shipping
Diana Shipping -- along with the dry-bulk sector in general -- received a push earlier this week after Dahlman Rose, a boutique investment bank and research house, upgraded the company's stock to buy from hold. The dry bulk bellwether, based in Athens, has less debt than its peers, noted Dahlman analyst Omar Nokta in a report, and could be poised "to take advantage of market opportunities which should allow it a premium valuation." Diana's first-quarter earnings fell 35% from the year-ago period, but still bested Wall Street targets.
Frontline, meanwhile, based in Bermuda, was hit hard by declining rates in its latest quarter, as earnings tumbled 74%. But the company, which is mostly an operator of oil tankers, has been moving more of its business into the long-term charter model and away from the spot market.
Frontline rival Nordic American reported a sharp decline in profits, as well, for its most-recent quarter, but said its capital position -- the company recently raised $130 million in a stock offering -- could lead to acquisitions. Cramer said last week on "Mad Money" that Nordic management has done a good job adding shareholder value over the long term.
Eagle Bulk stock was also upgraded to buy from hold by Dahlman Rose's Nokta this week. But the New York-based bulk cargo shipper, he noted, has higher debt levels than some of its peers. After a vigorous effort to expand its fleet, the company has more than $800 million in total debt on its books.
Shipping stocks in both subsectors -- dry bulk and tankers -- were broadly lower Thursday.
Shares of Eagle were trading Thursday morning at $6.96, down 25 cents, or 3.4%.
Diana Shipping shares were moving at $15.59, down 51 cents, or 3%.
Frontline shares were at $21.72, down 78 cents, or 3.5%.
Nordic Tanker shares were moving at $32.29, off 84 cents, or 2.6%.
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