The shipping industry includes companies that transport cargo around the world, all the way 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 (AMKBF) and Hapag-Lloyd AG (HPGLY). The shipping industry has been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and has significantly underperformed the broader market. In the past year, the Dow Jones Global Shipping Index has provided total returns of -5.8% compared with 12.6% for the Russell 1000. Total returns data is as of September 21 and all statistics below are as of September 22, 2020.

Here are the top 3 shipping stocks with the best value, the fastest earnings growth, and the best performance, 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 ($) Market Cap ($M) 12-Month Trailing P/E Ratio
International Seaways Inc. (INSW) 15.32 428.7 4.4
Nordic American Tankers Ltd. (NAT) 3.64 544.9 6.2
Westshore Terminals Investment Corp. (WTE.TO) CA$15.42 CA$1,000 7.2

Source: YCharts

  • International Seaways Inc.: International Seaways owns and operates oceangoing shipping vessels. The company primarily transports crude oil and petroleum products, serving customers worldwide. For Q2 2020, International Seaways reported net income of $64.4 million, a marked improvement over net losses of $16.5 million in Q2 2019. This represents the company's highest quarterly net income as a public company.
  • Nordic American Tankers Ltd.: Norwegian shipping company Nordic American Tankers owns and charters oil tankers for transportation service worldwide.
  • Westshore Terminals Investment Corp.: Canadian company Westshore Terminals Investment operates a storage and loading terminal for coal in British Columbia, Canada. The company announced in August that its subsidiary, Westshore Terminals Limited Partnership, had signed a new agreement with Teck Coal Limited for a shipment of between 5 and 7 million metric tons of coal annually starting April of 2021.

Fastest Growing Shipping Stocks

These are the shipping stocks with the highest YOY earnings per share (EPS) growth for the most recent quarter. Rising earnings show that a company’s business is growing and is generating more money that it can reinvest or return to shareholders.

Fastest Growing Shipping Stocks
  Price ($) Market Cap ($M) EPS Growth (%)
KNOT Offshore Partners LP (KNOP) 13.03 426.0 204.7
Star Bulk Carriers Corp. (SBLK) 6.54 628.3 136.4
Matson Inc. (MATX) 37.94 1,634 76.7

Source: YCharts

  • KNOT Offshore Partners LP: U.K.-based KNOT Offshore Partners owns and operates shuttle tankers. The company utilizes its fleet for long-term charters of at least 5 years. For Q2 2020, KNOT reported rising revenue and net income of $21.7 million compared with a net loss for the same period in 2019.
  • Star Bulk Carriers Corp.: Star Bulk Carriers owns and operates dry bulk carrier vessels. The company transports major bulks including iron ore, coal, and grain, as well as other materials. Star Bulk Carriers is based in Greece.
  • Matson Inc.: Matson is a transportation and logistics company offering services throughout North America. The company provides domestic and international rail intermodal service, long haul and regional highway service, as well as supply chain and third-party logistics offerings.

Shipping Stocks With the Best Performance

These are the shipping stocks that had the best returns or smallest declines in total return over the past 12 months out of the companies we looked at.

Shipping Stocks With the Best Performance
  Price ($) Market Cap ($M) 12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)
Nordic American Tankers Ltd. (NAT) 3.64 544.9 91.9
Matson Inc. (MATX) 37.94 1,634 1.1
Costamare Inc. (CMRE) 5.36 650.4 -8.1
Russell 1000 N/A N/A 12.6
Dow Jones Global Shipping Index N/A N/A -5.8

Source: YCharts

  • Nordic American Tankers Ltd.: See above for company description.
  • Matson Inc.: See above for company description.
  • Costamare Inc.: Costamare owns and operates a fleet of container ships. The company, which is based in Monaco, charters its ships to shipping companies for transportation of a variety of goods and freight to locations worldwide. For H1 2020, Costamare reported a 1.4% YOY increase in voyage revenue along with a net loss of $43.4 million. CFO Gregory Zikos said that the market conditions beginning in Q2 showed signs of improvement, reflected in the fact that the company chartered 24 ships in that period.