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It's a better idea to put your money in the stocks of two petroleum shippers, rather than dry-bulk bellwether DryShips -- at least according to Jim Cramer.

In his Wednesday evening "Mad Money" broadcast, Cramer pointed to the Bermuda-based duo of


(FRO) - Get Frontline Ltd. Report


Nordic American Tanker

(NAT) - Get Nordic American Tankers Limited Report

as preferable plays to


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(DRYS) - Get DryShips Inc. Report


Nordic, with revenue of $221 million for the 12 months ended in March, has seen its stock trend flat in the year-to-date. Still, it's climbed some 40% since falling to its 52-week low of $22 in March.

Nordic shares were trading Thursday at $31.63, down 36 cents from their previous close. The company has an enviable balance sheet ($109 million in cash versus total debt of $46 million as of the end of the last quarter) and profit margins of 51%.

Frontline, the world's largest oil tanker company, which has trailing 12-month revenue of $1.93 billion, is, not surprisingly, more indebted and has narrower margins than rival Nordic.

Frontline stock has declined almost 14% year-to-date, but is up 56% from its 52-week bottom, set in March along with seemingly every other publicly traded company. Frontline shares were trading up 12 cents in the early going Thursday at $25.16.

DryShips, which has been trying to dig itself out from underneath a mound of debt incurred during a frenzy of expansion some years ago, signed another waiver agreement with another creditor Thursday. This latest deal was inked with the Norwegian bank DnB Nor, and covers $68 million worth of outstanding debt. DryShips, with $1.05 billion in revenue for the 12 months ended in March, had $2.85 billion in total debt and $215.6 million in cash as of the end of March.

DryShips stock is down nearly 39% year-to-date, largely because of the company's debt woes, but has rebounded 130% from its 52-week valley, set in March.

Thursday morning, the stock was trading at $6.26, down two cents from the previous session.

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