Greek Stock Roundup: DryShips Inc., FreeSeas Inc, and Safe Bulkers, Inc.

DryShips Inc. (DRYS), FreeSeas Inc (FREE), and Safe Bulkers, Inc. (SB) are among the Greek shipping stocks taking it on the chin

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Jun 29, 2015 at 1:58 PM

A number of Greek stocks listed on U.S. exchanges are getting punished today on escalating default fears. For instance, with Greece's banks shuttered for the week and capital controls in place, the National Bank of Greece (ADR) (NYSE:NBG) is having a nightmare session, down 23.4% at $0.98, and fresh off a record low of $0.88. But NBG's far from the only one -- a number of Greece-based shipping stocks are also getting rocked, including DryShips Inc. (NASDAQ:DRYS), FreeSeas Inc (NASDAQ:FREE), and Safe Bulkers, Inc. (NYSE:SB). Let's take a look at this trio of struggling Greek stocks.

DRYS plunged to an all-time low of $0.63 earlier, and was last seen a shade higher at $0.64. All told, the stock has lost nearly 40% of its value in 2015. Analysts have taken a decisively bearish path toward the underperformer, as well, with 75% labeling it a "hold" or worse. On the flip side, short sellers have been hitting the exits in droves, with short interest on DryShips Inc. (NASDAQ:DRYS) dropping 19.5% over the last two reporting periods.

Shorts have also been fleeing from FREE, with short interest cratering by 77% during the most recent reporting period. These bears missed a golden opportunity. The shares are down 12.7% today at at $2.61. Amazingly, one year ago, FreeSeas Inc (NASDAQ:FREE) was was trading at $255.

On the flip side, short sellers have been upping the ante on SB. During the last two reporting periods, short interest rose 13.7%, and now makes up one-fifth of the equity's float -- or more than 11 sessions' worth of trading, at the stock's typical volume. These speculators are in luck -- the stock has stumbled 5.3% this afternoon to $3.20. At the same time, however, analysts may be re-examining their positions on Safe Bulkers, Inc. (NYSE:SB), as two-thirds have doled out "buy" or better endorsements.

Finally, it's worth noting that not every Greek shipping stock is getting hammered. Athens-based TOP SHIPS Inc (NASDAQ:TOPS) is actually up close to 1% at $1.04. Longer term, the shares have been consolidating in the $1-$1.20 range for most of 2015.

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