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8. DryShips ( DRYS)

Company Profile: DryShips, based in Greece, is a dry-bulk transportation company. DryShips also owns ultra-deep-water drillships and oil-tanker vessels.

Share Price: $4.96 (March 29)

Stock Performance This Year: -9%

Analyst Consensus: DryShips garners seven "buy" ratings from Wall Street analysts, including those at Lazard Capital Markets and Pareto Securities. A larger number, though, say investors are better off holding on to shares. Those nine firms include Jefferies and Dahlman Rose. Two other analysts have a "sell" rating on DryShips.

Bullish Case: In January, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Natasha Boyden maintained a "buy" rating and $7 price target for DryShips, arguing that the company's diversification into the ultra-deep-water-drilling sector is a positive development and could lead to a spin-off of the segment. "Furthermore, with all of its dry-bulk fleet fixed under period charter contracts, we suggest the primary upside catalyst for the stock over the near term will be securing additional employment and financing for the remaining drilling rigs," Boyden wrote in the research report.

On the other hand, TheStreet Ratings has a "sell" rating on DryShips, highlighting the disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and generally weak debt management. "Looking ahead, other than the push or pull of the broad market, we do not see anything in the company's numbers that may help reverse the decline experienced over the past 12 months," TheStreet Ratings wrote in a March 20 research report.

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