How Navios Maritime Partners Stayed Afloat in 2012

2012 is nearing its end, and now's a good opportunity to look at what happened throughout the year to the stocks you follow. If you know the important things that a company achieved, as well as any challenges it failed to overcome, then you can make a better decision about whether it really deserves a spot in your portfolio.

Today, I'll look at Navios Maritime Partners (NYSE: NMM  ) . The shipping industry had another tough year, as shipping rates continued to remain at rock-bottom levels. But Navios Maritime Partners held up better than many of its peers, thanks to its continuing dividend payments and solid book of business. Below, you'll find more on what moved shares of Navios Maritime Partners this year.

Stats on Navios Maritime Partners

Year-to-date stock return

(5.6%)

Market cap

$762 million

Revenue, past 12 months

$203 million

Net income, past 12 months

$74.4 million

1-year revenue growth

13.5%

1-year net income growth

14.4%

Dividend yield

14.1%

CAPS rating (out of 5)

*****

Source: S&P Capital IQ.

Why hasn't Navios Maritime Partners recovered this year?
Navios Maritime Partners had gotten stuck in a lousy environment for shipping companies, with falling rates making it extremely difficult for shippers to make money. In fact, Navios Maritime Partners and the related Navios Maritime Holdings (NYSE: NM  ) have both been unusual in that they've found ways to keep making profits during the downturn. By contrast, DryShips (NASDAQ: DRYS  ) has been losing money from shipping for a long time, relying instead on its deepwater drilling segment to shore up its financials. Looking beyond the dry-bulk shipping niche, tanker company Frontline (NYSE: FRO  ) actually had to cut its sizable dividend entirely in order to conserve cash.

During the early autumn months, the Baltic Dry Index rebounded somewhat from its lows. But that brought only temporary respite for the industry, and the index has sunk in December back down toward its yearly lows.

Navios Maritime Partners pays distributions that result in an even higher yield than many of the other dividend-rich shippers in the business. Part of that comes from its favorable contracts in Asia with companies whose shipping demand has held up somewhat better than those with whom Navios' peers are doing business.

Navios' performance in 2012 points to the fact that even high-yielding stocks don't always give investors overall gains. Once the shipping industry rebounds, however, Navios Maritime Partners should be in good shape to take full advantage.

Do better
Navios Maritime Partners has an enviable dividend, but we think you can find better investments. The Motley Fool's chief investment officer recently selected his No. 1 stock for the next year, and you can find out all about it in our brand-new free report: "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2013." Please don't miss out on this once-a-year opportunity; click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.

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Read/Post Comments (2) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On December 26, 2012, at 1:44 PM, rosieposie123 wrote:

    NMM Mrs. Angeliki N. Frangou knows how to run a business. Materials are up today. Take a look at CLF.

    Who is going to ship the iron ore...take a look at GNK. It's up...NMM is a much better shipper with much better managment :0

  • Report this Comment On December 29, 2012, at 10:36 AM, mojoinjun wrote:

    with all respect, anyone who continues to utter DRYS and OSG in same sentence with NMM doesn't understand shipping well enough to comment intelligently on NM or NMM.

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