Can Navios Maritime Partners Catch a Wave in 2013?

As 2013 begins, now's a good time to look at the future prospects for the stocks you own. If you don't know where a company's headed in the next year and beyond, then it's impossible to make an informed decision about whether you should add the stock to your portfolio -- or sell it if you already own it.

Today, I'll look at Navios Maritime Partners (NYSE: NMM  ) . The shipping company managed to stay afloat in 2012 in a very tough industry, but it's hoping the long-depressed shipping industry will rebound enough to support its longer-term prospects. Below, you'll learn more about what's in store for Navios Maritime Partners in 2013.

Stats on Navios Maritime Partners

 

 

Average Stock Target Price

$15.54

Full-Year 2012 EPS Estimate

$1.22

Full-Year 2013 EPS Estimate

$0.95

Full-Year 2012 Sales Growth Estimate

8.5%

Full-Year 2013 Sales Growth Estimate

(5.4%)

Forward P/E

14.7

Source: Yahoo Finance.

Will Navios Maritime Partners ride higher in 2013?
Analysts put together a mixed picture of Navios Maritime Partners for the coming year. From a fundamental perspective, they expect earnings to keep declining in 2013, with revenue also reversing course from a nice gain in 2012. However, its stock price remains 10% above current levels, and with the stock yielding more than 12% in dividends, those two factors combined could bring shareholders a nice return.

Already in 2013, we've seen some optimism about the dry-bulk shipping industry. Last Friday, DryShips (Nasdaq: DRYS  ) saw its stock soar 25% in a single day, while Safe Bulkers (NYSE: SB  ) and Navios Maritime Holdings (NYSE: NM  ) posted less extreme but still respectable gains. Yet as Fool contributor Dan Carroll pointed out after the rally, the Baltic Dry Index remains at rock-bottom levels, and at least for now, there are few signs that the world economic recovery that would be necessary to boost shipping companies has started to take place.

For Navios Maritime Partners, the fact that it has managed to get many of its vessels on long-term contracts has been a major contributor to its outperformance in the sector. But five of its contracts will expire and require renegotiation this year, and if the company has to accept much lower prevailing rates, it will weigh on results. The company also faces six contract expirations in early 2014.

Navios has been able to avoid the worst of the downturn in shipping stocks, but it really needs a recovery to take shape soon. Otherwise, the storm that has battered many of its peers may finally come home to roost for it as well.

Sail higher
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