As someone at Navios Maritime Holdings
Aside from a welcome chuckle, the typographical error I recently encountered on the company's website (find it here) serves as a timely reminder of the incredibly challenging business environment that awaits a flood of new dry bulk vessels set to enter the global fleet over the coming months and years.
Even while posting an impressive 110% surge in net earnings to $46.5 million, Navios offered little in the way of upbeat analysis of the dry bulk environment. Citing "sluggish growth" in the developed economies, and "a significant order book," Navios made "caution" the word of the day even as the company pursues aggressive countercyclical growth.
For these reasons, Navios has become something of an enigma to this Fool ... a shipper that straddles the middle of the vast ocean between my top sector pick Diana Shipping
Navios' track record of securing charter contracts on new vessels before delivery helps to keep its growth spurt from sailing right past available demand. In fairness to DryShips, however, I hasten to point out that Navios' net debt-to-capitalization ratio of 48% is far more severe than even DryShips' recent mark of 33%. Also, Navios' recent sale of a Capesize vessel to subsidiary Navios Maritime Partners
Navios made a point to mention that few companies in the sector are paying dividends (Navios Maritime Holdings presently yields 4.3%), but at the same time reminded investors that the yield is not guaranteed going forward. Meanwhile, Genco Shipping & Trading
Complicating interpretations of the potential pitfalls of Navios shares, I remind Fools that the sector's shares have already been brutally battered. Navios shares trade at a 48% discount to shareholder equity and a 40% discount to book value. Some of the apparent risk has been priced in, and I'm interested to know your thoughts regarding whether current share prices present an acceptable risk-to-reward ratio. Please join the free Motley Fool CAPS community to cast your vote and share your comments below.
Fool contributor Christopher Barker can be found blogging actively and acting Foolishly in the CAPS community under the user name TMFSinchiruna. He tweets. He owns shares of Baltic Trading and Diana Shipping. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy can hold its breath underwater while a cargo ship passes overhead.