Shipping Stocks for Investors to Watch in Q2 2021

Shipping is in its heyday, and the stock market is responding accordingly. Which shipping stocks should investors watch in the second quarter?

Rachel Curry - Author

Apr. 27 2021, Published 12:18 p.m. ET

If your stock portfolio is trending upwards on April 27, you can thank United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS) for that. But it isn't just UPS that's contributing to the shipping sector. Shipping stocks across the board are welcome returns.

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In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, e-commerce shipments increased 47 percent. Many shipping companies are experiencing an era of rapid growth or, at the very least, high value. 

UPS stock swells in response to healthy earnings

Shares of UPS are up 10.5 percent since the market close on April 26 and are trading at $194.38 by mid-day. A lot of this momentum came in pre-market hours after the company released its first-quarter earnings.

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The biggest highlights were:

  • $4.79 billion in net income
  • An adjusted EPS of $2.77 (up from the $1.72 estimate)
  • A 27 percent revenue growth to $22.91 billion

UPS might just be a single stock, but its positive earnings report has inspired investors across the board. The Dow Jones Transportation Average is up 20.7 percent YTD. While the current peak for UPS might be a difficult time to get in, watching the stock could help you find a solid dip to sneak in on.  

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Danaos Corp. represents the shipping container sector

Based in Greece, Danaos (NYSE:DAC) is a container ship fleet owner that maintains a strong web of partnerships. Shipping container adjacent stocks in particular are at the crux of steady demand.

Danaos shares are up a whopping 147.29 percent YTD, and it's only April. This is definitely a watcher, although investors might want to wait until the current bull run dips off. Buying such a strong stock at its peak can mean staying invested for much longer than you anticipated. 

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Matson Inc. covers railway shipping and more

Matson Inc. (NYSE:MATX) is a self-proclaimed navigation company, but that description only touches the surface. The company dabbles in rail transportation throughout North America, ocean shipping across the Pacific, and supply chain and third-party logistics.

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Expect swings in Matson stock, which is up 21.68 percent YTD. The 12-month trailing returns are impressive at 122.16 percent. Shares are up in the short term, so keep your eyes peeled for an opportunity to maximize your investment. 

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Should you watch FedEx stock, too?

A UPS competitor, FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX) is prioritizing partnerships that give the company an edge in 2021. FedEx just announced that it's partnering with Adobe to integrate each of its e-commerce platforms. This will help brands and merchants handle the increase in package volume moving forward.

Shares of FDX are responding to the news. The stock is up 5.12 percent since the market close on April 26 with YTD returns up 14.33 percent. This boost is much more modest than UPS, but it might be worth getting in (and the opportunity for growth could be even more surprising).


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