Nordic American Tanker
are the maritime carrier stocks Jim Cramer continues to like. But in the Lightning Round segment of his Friday Mad Money broadcast, Cramer singled out
Star Bulk Carriers
as one shipper he's bearish on.
Shares of the Athens-based Star Bulk have nearly doubled year-to-date, a jump that has outpaced the performance of other dry-bulk shippers by a substantial margin. Industry giant Diana Shipping, for example, has seen its stock rise 23%, while smaller players like Paragon Shipping and Safe Bulkers have increased 13% and 10%, respectively.
Star Bulk stock received a bump recently after the company announced the inking of four new charter contracts, and the company estimates that 96% of its fleet's operating days are now booked for the rest of the year, a better percentage than many of its rivals. Nonetheless, Star Bulk has a relatively high debt level -- $331 million in total as of the end of 2008.
Oil shippers Frontline and Nordic American, meanwhile, are looking toward OPEC's policy meeting in Vienna this Thursday, where every public indication has suggested that the petroleum cartel will leave production unchanged. Some had speculated that OPEC would once again reduce output in effort to backstop prices, a decision that would of course drag on the oil-tanker business.
Shares of Frontline and Nordic were trading modestly higher Tuesday, up 1.6% and 1.7%, respectively, at $21.58 and $32.50. Star Bulk, meanwhile, was up 1.6% to $5.10 and Diana was up 2% to $16.03.
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