The shares of Nordic American Tankers Limited have decreased by more than -10.98% this year alone. The shares recently went up by 11.17% or $0.22 and now trades at $2.19. The shares of Northern Oil and Gas, Inc. (NYSE:NOG), has slumped by -11.22% year to date as of 02/12/2018. The shares currently trade at $1.82 and have been able to report a change of -13.33% over the past one week.

The stock of Nordic American Tankers Limited and Northern Oil and Gas, Inc. were two of the most active stocks on Monday. Investors seem to be very interested in what happens to the stocks of these two companies but do investors favor one over the other? We will analyze the growth, profitability, risk, valuation, and insider trends of both companies and see which one investors prefer.

**Next 5Y EPS Growth: 5.00% versus 5.00%**

When a company is able to grow consistently in terms of earnings at a high compound rate have the highest likelihood of creating value for its shareholders over time. Analysts have predicted that NAT will grow it’s earning at a 5.00% annual rate in the next 5 years. This is in contrast to NOG which will have a positive growth at a 5.00% annual rate. This means that the higher growth rate of All else equal, the two stocks’ implies a similar potential for capital appreciation. over the years.

**Profitability and Returns**

Growth alone cannot be used to see if the company will be valuable. Shareholders will be the losers if a company invest in ventures that aren’t profitable enough to support upbeat growth. In order for us to accurately measure profitability and return, we will be using the EBITDA margin and Return on Investment (ROI), which balances the difference in capital structure. NAT has an EBITDA margin of 8.08%, this implies that the underlying business of NOG is more profitable. The ROI of NAT is 4.10% while that of NOG is -66.00%. These figures suggest that NAT ventures generate a higher ROI than that of NOG.

**Cash Flow **

The value of a stock is ultimately determined by the amount of cash flow that the investors have available. Over the last 12 months, NAT’s free cash flow per share is a positive 0.

**Liquidity and Financial Risk**

The ability of a company to meet up with its short-term obligations and be able to clear its longer-term debts is measured using Liquidity and leverage ratios. The current ratio for NAT is 3.50 and that of NOG is 0.20. This implies that it is easier for NAT to cover its immediate obligations over the next 12 months than NOG.

**Valuation**

NAT currently trades at a P/B of 0.29, and a P/S of 0.79 while NOG trades at a forward P/E of 5.87, and a P/S of 0.58. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, NAT is the cheaper one. It is very obvious that earnings are the most important factors to investors, thus analysts are most likely to place their bet on the P/E.

**Analyst Price Targets and Opinions**

The mistake some people make is that they think a cheap stock has more value to it. In order to know the value of a stock, there is need to compare its current price to its likely trading price in the future. The price of NAT is currently at a -48.35% to its one-year price target of 4.24. Looking at its rival pricing, NOG is at a -30.8% relative to its price target of 2.63. This figure implies that over the next one year, NOG is a better investment.

When looking at the investment recommendation on say a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being a strong buy, 3 a hold, and 5 a sell), NAT is given a 3.30 while 3.30 placed for NOG. This means that analysts are equally bullish on their outlook for the two stocks stocks.

**Insider Activity and Investor Sentiment**

Short interest or otherwise called the percentage of a stock’s tradable shares currently being shorted is another data that investors use to get a handle on sentiment. The short ratio for NAT is 2.34 while that of NOG is just 3.69. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for NAT stock.

**Conclusion**

The stock of Northern Oil and Gas, Inc. defeats that of Nordic American Tankers Limited when the two are compared, with NOG taking 5 out of the total factors that were been considered. NOG happens to be more profitable, generates a higher ROI, has higher cash flow per share, higher liquidity and has a lower financial risk. When looking at the stock valuation, NOG is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for NOG is better on when it is viewed on short interest.