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Look to this Shipper for High Yield

Investors looking for a high yield stock may want to check out Ship Finance International Ltd (NYSE: SFL).  The stock boasts a 9.59% dividend yield with EPS projected to grow 16% in 2014.  With 2 analysts upgrading the stock, SFL looks like a potential high yield stock that can sustain its EPS and dividend.

On February 25, Ship Finance International Ltd.’s fourth-quarter earnings jumped 69% as the tanker company benefited from a cash sweep agreement and a one-time gain from a sale.  Ship Finance, which owns and charters out large vessels that transport crude oil, in recent years has been diversifying its assets to include areas such as dry bulk and container ships. Though Ship Finance had seen a soft tanker market, the company said that the crude oil tanker market remained relatively firm.

Ship Finance is actively reviewing investment opportunities across its main market segments, while also closely monitoring the performance of its chartering counterparties in light of the “prevailing soft spot-market in some of the shipping segments.”  Ship Finance reported a profit of $51.1 million, or 60 cents a share, versus $ 30.2 million, or 38 cents a share, a year earlier. The latest period included $ 12.1 million from a cash sweep agreement with Frontline Ltd. and a $21.5 million gain on the sale of vessels.

Total operating revenue rose 2.1% to $77.7 million.  Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently forecast earnings of 33 cents on revenue of $89.9 million.

First Call consensus has Ship Finance earning $1.71 in FY 2014 which is 16% above 2013 EPS.  First Call has a buy rating on the stock with a 2.2 rating.  The stock trades at a PE of 7 and 1.4 times book value.  Ship Finance has a 12-month price target of $18.70.

On April 20, 2013 Columbine Capital Services, Inc. upgraded SHIP FINANCE INTERNATIONAL LTD from NEUTRAL to FAVORABLE.

On April 12, 2013 Ford Equity Research upgraded SHIP FINANCE INTERNATIONAL LTD from HOLD to BUY.

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