The shipping industry includes companies that transport cargo around the world, from grains to apparel to electronics to appliances. In spite of the term "shipping," these companies often transport commodities and merchandise by air, sea, and on land by truck or train. They also provide storage and other logistics. Some of the largest shipping companies in the world include A.P. Møller-Mærsk A/S (AMKBY) and Hapag-Lloyd AG (HPGLY). The shipping industry has a significant mismatch between supply and demand which has been exacerbated by global supply chains that have been strained amid the pandemic. This has caused the price of bulk dry shipping as a commodity to expand substantially.

In the past year, the shipping industry has slightly underperformed the broader market. The benchmark Dow Jones U.S. Marine Transportation Index has provided a 1-year trailing total return of 33.4% compared with 34.3% for the iShares Russell 1000 ETF (IWB). These market performance numbers and all statistics in the tables below are as of Sept. 14, 2021.

Here are the top 3 shipping stocks with the best value, the fastest growth, and the most momentum, respectively.

Best Value Shipping Stocks

These are the shipping stocks with the lowest 12-month trailing price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio. Because profits can be returned to shareholders in the form of dividends and buybacks, a low P/E ratio shows you’re paying less for each dollar of profit generated.

Best Value Shipping Stocks
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing P/E Ratio
Danaos Corp. (DAC) 83.63 1.7 2.3
Navios Maritime Partners LP (NMM) 31.45 0.8 2.6
ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. (ZIM) 58.69 6.7 3.4

Source: YCharts

  • Danaos Corp.: Danaos is a Greece-based company that owns a fleet of large-size container ships. It charters is ships on long-term contracts at fixed rates to global liner companies. Danaos announced on Aug. 16 that it had received new charter agreements for 10 of its vessels for periods ranging from 3 to 4 years. The charters will commence between January 2022 and August 2022. These new charters increase Danaos' contracted revenue backlog by approximately $378 million.
  • Navios Maritime Partners LP.: Navios Maritime Partners is a Greece-based company offering maritime freight transportation. It owns and operates a fleet of dry bulk and container vessels. For Q2 2021, the company reported net income attributable to common stockholders of $24.9 million compared with a net loss for the prior-year quarter, as well as strong revenue growth. The performance was driven by the surge in dry bulk commodities demand described above.
  • ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd.: ZIM Integrated Shipping Services is an Israel-based provider of seaborne transportation and logistics services. The company operates a fleet of vessels and offers multi-modal, cargo handling, tariff management, and other related services. ZIM reported record financial results for Q2 2021, including a more than 34-fold increase in net income as revenue more than tripled YOY. The company cited digitalization initiatives and new lines which address profitable, underserved routes as drivers of performance.

Fastest Growing Shipping Stocks

These are the top shipping stocks as ranked by a growth model that scores companies based on a 50/50 weighting of their most recent quarterly YOY percentage revenue growth and their most recent quarterly YOY earnings-per-share (EPS) growth. Both sales and earnings are critical factors in the success of a company. Therefore ranking companies by only one growth metric makes a ranking susceptible to the accounting anomalies of that quarter (such as changes in tax law or restructuring costs) that may make one or the other figure unrepresentative of the business in general. Companies with quarterly EPS or revenue growth of over 2,500% were excluded as outliers.

Fastest Growing Shipping Stocks
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) EPS Growth (%) Revenue Growth (%)
Navios Maritime Partners LP (NMM) 31.45 0.8 N/A (see company description) 226.6
A.P. Møller-Mærsk A/S (AMKBY) 15.17 57.5 823.8 58.2
Golden Ocean Group Ltd. (GOGL) 11.65 2.3 N/A (see company description) 137.2

Source: YCharts

  • Navios Maritime Partners LP.: See above for company description. For the most recent quarter, the company's EPS went from negative to positive, making a YOY growth calculation impossible.
  • A.P. Møller-Mærsk A/S: A.P. Møller-Mærsk is a Denmark-based integrated transport and logistics company. It offers container vessels, supply ships, special vessels, tug boat activities, reefer container box manufacturing, and other related services.
  • Golden Ocean Group Ltd.: Golden Ocean Group is a Norway-based shipping company registered in Bermuda. The company transports dry bulk cargoes including ores, coal, grains, and fertilizers. For the most recent quarter, the company's EPS went from negative to positive, making a YOY growth calculation impossible.

Shipping Stocks With the Most Momentum

These are the shipping stocks that had the highest total return over the last 12 months.

Shipping Stocks With the Most Momentum
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)
Danaos Corp. (DAC) 83.63 1.7 1,530
Navios Maritime Partners LP (NMM) 31.45 0.8 434.5
Safe Bulkers Inc. (SB) 4.82 0.6 372.5
iShares Russell 1000 ETF (IWB) N/A N/A 34.3
Dow Jones U.S. Marine Transportation Index N/A N/A 33.4

Source: YCharts

  • Danaos Corp.: See above for company description.
  • Navios Maritime Partners LP.: See above for company description.
  • Safe Bulkers Inc.: Safe Bulkers is a holding company that, through subsidiaries, engages in the acquisition acquisition, ownership, and operation of drybulk vessels. Safe Bulkers provides marine transportation services, transporting of bulk cargoes, and related services.

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