Shipping Industry Current Ratios and The Erosion of the Current Ratios Since the 1930’s.

I’m always looking for high dividend stocks with earning power and strong balance sheets.  I consider a dividend yield above 6% to be a high dividend stock.  To see why read this: http://bit.ly/6percentDIV.  But don’t let that article distract you.  The focus of this article is going to be on the balance sheet measure known as the current ratio.

There are many measurements of strong balance sheets.  A company’s current ratio is one such measure of a strong balance sheet.  The current ratio is the company’s current assets (usually cash, equivalents, and accounts receivable) divided by its current liabilities (those are liabilities due within one year such as accounts payable and the current portion of the long term debt, etc.).

One of my favorite companies is Safe Bulkers (SB).  They are a dry bulk shipping company.  Unfortunately their current ratio has dropped in the last few quarters.  It currently stands a 0.73.  The father of value investing, Benjamin Graham, consider a current ratio of 2.0 the minimum for investment.  He wrote that back in his book Security Analysis in the 1930’s.  Safe Bulkers current ratio seems really low.  That made me wonder how all the other shipping companies compare.  Here is what I found:  (Note – The size of the bubbles represent the company’s market capitalization in millions of dollars.  For example, Knightsbridge Tankers has a market cap of $303 million.)

Image002

Here is a table with most of the largest publicly traded shipping companies used in the graphic above:

Company

Ticker

Market Capitalization (Millions of dollars)

Current Ratio

Dividend Yield

Kirby Corp.

(KEX)

$                          3,710

1.48

0.00%

Golar LNG Limited

(GLNG)

$                          2,920

0.41

3.13%

Teekay LNG Partners

(TGP)

$                          2,700

0.58

6.44%

Teekay Corp.

(TK)

$                          2,490

1.00

3.51%

Alexander & Baldwin

(ALEX)

$                          2,230

0.99

2.44%

Seacor Hldgs.

(CKH)

$                          1,960

2.59

0.00%

Golar LNG Partners

(GMLP)

$                          1,350

0.49

4.85%

DryShips

(DRYS)

$                          1,310

0.78

0.00%

Ship Finance Intl.

(SFL)

$                          1,060

1.11

8.85%

Seaspan Corp.

(SSW)

$                          1,030

2.74

4.30%

Navios Maritime Partners

(NMM)

$                             901

1.12

10.60%

Costamare Inc.

(CMRE)

$                             832

0.61

10.64%

Diana Shipping

(DSX)

$                             650

9.00

0.00%

Frontline Ltd.

(FRO)

$                             488

2.45

3.38%

Safe Bulkers

(SB)

$                             475

0.73

8.65%

Danaos Corp.

(DAC)

$                             444

0.40

0.00%

Navios Maritime

(NM)

$                             384

1.47

6.38%

Overseas Shipholding

(OSG)

$                             359

2.44

0.00%

Knightsbridge Tankers

(VLCCF)

$                             303

7.30

16.09%

Intl. Shipping Corp.

(ISH)

$                             150

1.30

4.88%

Box Ships

(TEU)

$                             147

0.96

13.17%

Star Bulk Carriers

(SBLK)

$                               53

0.62

6.26%

The average current ratio of the shipping industry is 1.84.  If you throw out the highest and lowest current ratios, then you get 1.56.  So the average of the industry by either measure is below what Graham considered acceptable.  That is interesting.  What was the ratio of the shipping industry in Graham’s day?  Fortunately for use he produced a gem of a table in his 1937 book Interpretation of Financial Statements which I’ve included here:  The 8 companies in shipping had an average current ratio of 3.7.

Image006

I have a sickening feeling that almost every industry nowadays will have an average current ratio below 2.0.  My hypothesis is that decades of Keynesian MBA finance grads have abandoned saving money to ensure financial resilience in a bad economy (like 2008-2009).  Keynesians hate savings because they believe that it causes consumer spending to go down and therefore the economy goes down.  If you want to learn more about this, then read Henry Hazlitt’s The Failure of the New Economics available free from www.mises.org.  He’s got a whole section on the faulty logic of Keynes’ “Paradox of Thrift”.

Subscribe for free at www.myhighdividendstocks.com/feed to discover high dividend stocks with earning power and strong balance sheets.

That’s all for now.

Be seeing you!

Advertisements
Published in: on May 3, 2012 at 9:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://myhighdividendstocks.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/shipping-industry-current-ratios-and-the-erosion-of-the-current-ratios-since-the-1930s/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: