DryShips Docked: What You Need to Know

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Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Tick-tock. Tick-tock. The clock is counting down to DryShips' (NAS: DRYS) Q2 earnings release, due to dock less than two weeks from now. But already, investors are jumping ship. On another "red" day for the markets, DryShips' stock is doing worse than most, dropping as much as 10% before bobbing back up to end the day at a 7% loss.

So what: Is this an overreaction? After all, as fellow Fool Jim Mueller pointed out earlier this week, DryShips is far from the worst player in the dry bulk shipping industry. It sports better operating profit margins than Eagle Bulk (NAS: EGLE) and a higher return on equity than Excel Maritime (NYS: EXM) .

Now what: Regardless, as I pointed out earlier this month, these GAAP numbers don't tell the whole tale at DryShips. On the surface, sure, the stock looks cheap at just 4.5 times net profit. But DryShips has a terrible history of turning GAAP "earnings" into actual free cash flow. While the coming report could be the one that shows improvement (hey, anything's possible), last time we checked, DryShips was actually burning cash, even as it continued to claim it was "profitable" under GAAP.

Does DryShips stock float your boat?Add it to your Fool Watchlist.

At the time this article was published Fool contributorRich Smithdoes not own (or short) shares of any company named above. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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