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Why Scorpio Bulkers Inc Stock Tumbled 22% in May

By Rich Smith – Updated Jun 7, 2017 at 3:41PM

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A miserable market for dry bulk shipping is doing this stock no favors.

What happened

Shares of dry bulk shipper Scorpio Bulkers (NYSE: SALT) sank 22.1% lower in the month of May.

So what

The second time wasn't a charm for Scorpio Bulkers, which suffered a similar, nearly as-bad loss to its stock price in April. April's 19% loss occurred despite the company having just reported a tripling in quarterly revenue for its first fiscal quarter and a significantly narrowed loss as well.

May, unfortunately, included no such good news.

Instead, the only good news Scorpio appears to have enjoyed last month was a couple of votes of confidence -- first from its own executives, and later from a related party. On May 8, Scorpio announced that its president, Robert Bugbee, had purchased 15,000 shares of the stock at $6.29 per share, while an unidentified company director had bought 10,000 shares at an average price of $6.50 per share. Later, on May 25, Scorpio announced that Scorpio Services Holding Limited had bought 165,000 shares at an average price of $6.06 per share.

Dry bulk ship in port

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

Given that Scorpio Bulkers stock now sells for $6.25, that means the purchases by management -- whether inspired by a feeling that the stock was truly undervalued or simply a desire to patch a leaky stock price -- are now both "underwater." On the other hand, the big purchase by Scorpio Services Holding is already showing a profit.

Will there be more profits like that to come? Will management's investments be salvaged? That depends largely on whether rates tracked on the Baltic Dry Index turn around. On that note, the BDI showed nothing but losses all through the end of May (beginning at 1,109 points, and falling 21% to 878 by month's end), which likely contributed to the stock's own May loss.

Those BDI losses are continuing now in June, falling a further 7% to 818 as of Tuesday's close.

Rich Smith has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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