Thursday, September 19, 2013

Seeking Alpha: Ship Finance Offers Good Returns For Above-Average Risks

Double-digit dividend yields often come with a substantial "but" attached. The junk in the trunk in the case of Ship Finance (SFL) comes in both the form of the significant ownership stake of shipping magnate John Fredriksen, as well as the company's heavily entwined dealings with other Fredriksen companies like Frontline (FRO) and Seadrill (SDRL).

While the shipping industry is still in rough shape, I don't think Ship Finance gets enough credit for the moves it has made to diversify into operations like offshore drilling (admittedly, another boom-bust industry) and offset the risk of customer defaults. A default from Frontline would certainly be noisy and negative, but not nearly as harmful to underlying cash flow and dividend support. With these shares trading below what appears to be fair value on an EBITDA and NAV basis, and paying a 10%-plus yield as of this writing, I believe Ship Finance is an attractively-priced, albeit risky, way to play shipping and collect a large dividend.

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Ship Finance Offers Good Returns For Above-Average Risks

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