(DryShips poll, originally published Dec. 31, updated with latest news.)NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- DryShips ( DRYS) has reasserted itself as the name to watch among shipping stocks as CEO George Economou, true to his nature, steers his company into dangerous but potentially lucrative waters yet again. Last month, Economou stunned the maritime industry by acquiring $770 million worth of new oil tankers. That's a huge and risky wager for the dry-bulk carrier. On Monday, the first trading session of 2011, DryShips' stock received a downgrade from Morgan Stanley ( DRYS) analyst Ole Slorer, who views the tanker purchase with a jaundiced eye. He cut his rating to underweight from overweight. DryShips shares were down about 5% to $5.21 on heavy volume Monday afternoon. The conventional wisdom has been that investors prefer pure-play shipping stocks. That is, they want their dry-bulk fleets (which haul coal, iron ore, grain and the like) separate from their tanker fleets, since the dynamics that govern each of those markets differ so significantly. A public company that owns both types of ship would only serve to make an already murky business that much less transparent -- and would hurt shareholders, since separate companies would fetch better values from the market.
Should You Abandon Ship?