People watch stocks for different reasons -- they're waiting for a dip in price, watching for a specific catalyst, gathering all the news and information that might affect stocks they already own, or considering a sell. Regardless of their motivation, we can better understand market sentiment by seeing who's watching what. With the Fool's free My Watchlist service, we have tens of thousands of people telling us the businesses that have, for whatever reason, piqued their interest.

With this data we have come up with a new metric, watch interest, to inform investors what stocks their peers keep tabs on in each industry. In the case of the tanker industry, watch interest is the percentage of people keeping an eye on tanker stocks in general who are specifically watching each company. By looking at what stocks people are most interested in an industry, you can get ahead of the curb by finding hot stocks that you might have otherwise overlooked. The tanker industry has been suffering along with broader shipping industry though to a lesser extent. Many companies leveraged up during the good times and now that's coming back to bite them.

The most-watched tanker stock is ...
Looking at the aggregate data, we see that Frontline (NYSE: FRO) is above the rest in terms of watch interest and for good reason. As CAPS player dargfool wrote last September:

Well managed oil shipper. Smart dividend policy.

Here are the rest of the 10 most-watched companies in the industry with their watch interest along with the stocks' CAPS rating to show the sentiment of our investing community.

 

Company

Market Cap (in millions)

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Watch Interest

1

Frontline

$1,038

***

22.4%

2

Nordic American Tankers (NYSE: NAT)

$1,057

***

18.1%

3

Teekay LNG Partners (NYSE: TGP)

$2,108

*****

13.6%

4

General Maritime (NYSE: GMR)

$124

***

13.6%

5

Teekay Tankers (NYSE: TNK)

$567

****

7.3%

6

Golar LNG (Nasdaq: GLNG)

$3,116

***

6.4%

7

DHT Holdings (NYSE: DHT)

$237

****

3.5%

8

Tsakos Energy Navigation (NYSE: TNP)

$457

****

2.7%

9

Teekay Offshore Partners LP (NYSE: TOO)

$1,880

*****

2.4%

10

StealthGas (Nasdaq: GASS)

$89

****

2.3%

Sources: Motley Fool, Motley Fool CAPS.

Whether you're keeping an eye on the industry stalwarts like Golar LNG or are watching an up-and-comer like StealthGas, it pays to watch. We can help you keep tabs on your companies with My Watchlist, our free, personalized stock tracking service. Click here to start now.

Dan Dzombak's musings and articles he finds interesting can be found on his Twitter account: @DanDzombak.

The Motley Fool owns shares of General Maritime.Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.