3 Shipping Stocks That Are Cruising

By Aryeh Katz | August 16, 2010 AAA

Shipping rates for supertankers are on the rise, largely due to increased fuel demand from China. That increase is causing analysts to predict a rise in the daily shipping rate to $100,000 by December of this year. It's good for the shippers - and maybe for China, too - but it might be a tad inflationary for the average consumer at the gas pump going forward.

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For investors, it clearly means opportunity. The shipping business is on the mend, and below we list three stocks whose fortunes are proving that fact. Note, too, that it's more than just price appreciation that makes these companies attractive. They also boast some spectacular fundamentals.

Adding to the Wardrobe
Knightsbridge Tankers Limited (Nasdaq:VLCCF) has a market cap of over $320 million and trades with an annual dividend yield of 8.5%. Better than this, however, is the stock's performance; year-to-date, Knightsbridge shares have climbed more than 40%. That beats the iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average ETF (NYSE:IYT) by a long shot. The transports are up less than 5% since the year began, and the broad market, as measured by the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE:SPY), is down nearly 2%.

Knightsbridge operates a fleet of dry bulk and crude oil carriers and is headquartered in Bermuda. The stock's P/E ratio is 12.2 and price-to-book is just 1.27. L4

In June, VLCCF added another capesize vessel, the Golden Future, to its fleet at a cost of $72 million.

Strong Five-Year Growth Trend
Seaspan Corporation's (NYSE:SSW) sales figures have grown at a rate of 51% for the last five years and EPS growth comes in at 56% for that period. Yet the stock still offers an ample 4.8% dividend yield and trades with a P/E of 18.5. Moreover, the shares are on offer at just a fraction of the company's breakup value. Price-to-book is a meager 0.69.

Seaspan owns and operates a fleet of 42 containerships and has contracts to purchase another 21 and lease five more. The company is domiciled in Hong Kong. Year-to-date the shares are up 14.5% and for the full year an impressive 70%.

Comparatively, Teekay Corporation (NYSE:TK) stock has risen by over 13% since the year began and by 47% for the full year. The stock pays a 4.9% dividend and trades with a P/E of 15.1.

The Bottom Line
Hop on the next oceangoing transport to wealth and riches. The above three issues offer great recent momentum and a nice yield kicker, to boot. (Despite some disappointing trucking trends, there is still a lot of opportunity in the industry. For more stock analysis, see The Upside Of Trucking.)

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