Ship Finance International (SFL) Lifted to “Strong-Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ship Finance International (NYSE:SFL) from a sell rating to a strong-buy rating in a report released on Wednesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $14.00 target price on the shipping company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Ship Finance is a major shipowning company. Including newbuildings, Ship Finance owns a fleet consisting of vessels, including crude oil tankers (VLCC and Suezmax), oil/bulk/ore vessels, container vessels, dry bulk carriers, jack-up drilling rigs and seismic vessels. The fleet is one of the largest in the world and most of the vessels are employed on medium- or long-term charters. “

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. UBS Group raised Ship Finance International from a sell rating to a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, November 29th. Citigroup started coverage on Ship Finance International in a research report on Thursday, December 27th. They set a neutral rating and a $11.00 target price on the stock. Finally, ValuEngine cut Ship Finance International from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Thursday, September 13th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating, three have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Ship Finance International currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $13.88.

Shares of Ship Finance International stock opened at $11.42 on Wednesday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.60, a current ratio of 0.61 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.10. Ship Finance International has a 52 week low of $10.31 and a 52 week high of $15.98. The company has a market capitalization of $1.43 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.60 and a beta of 1.30.

Ship Finance International (NYSE:SFL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 20th. The shipping company reported $0.33 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.25 by $0.08. Ship Finance International had a return on equity of 9.68% and a net margin of 22.77%. The firm had revenue of $111.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $114.96 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.31 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 18.5% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, research analysts predict that Ship Finance International will post 0.94 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 28th. Investors of record on Wednesday, December 12th were given a dividend of $0.35 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, December 11th. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 12.26%. Ship Finance International’s payout ratio is 117.65%.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in SFL. Rhumbline Advisers grew its holdings in Ship Finance International by 15.4% in the second quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 152,334 shares of the shipping company’s stock valued at $2,277,000 after purchasing an additional 20,300 shares during the period. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its holdings in Ship Finance International by 26.4% in the second quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 407,709 shares of the shipping company’s stock valued at $6,096,000 after purchasing an additional 85,143 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in Ship Finance International by 51.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,217,374 shares of the shipping company’s stock valued at $63,049,000 after purchasing an additional 1,425,028 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its holdings in Ship Finance International by 23.4% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,627,417 shares of the shipping company’s stock valued at $39,280,000 after purchasing an additional 498,524 shares during the period. Finally, BlueMountain Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in Ship Finance International by 17,907.7% in the second quarter. BlueMountain Capital Management LLC now owns 34,935 shares of the shipping company’s stock valued at $522,000 after purchasing an additional 34,741 shares during the period. 29.20% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Ship Finance International

Ship Finance International Limited owns and operates vessels and offshore related assets primarily in Bermuda, Cyprus, Malta, Liberia, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the Marshall Islands. It is also involved in the charter, purchase, and sale of assets. In addition, the company operates in various sectors of the shipping and offshore industry, including oil transportation, dry bulk shipments, chemical transportation, oil product transportation, container transportation, car transportation, drilling rigs, and offshore supply vessels.

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