Acacia Research Corporation (NASDAQ: ACTG) and Odyssey Marine Exploration (NASDAQ:OMEX) are both small-cap business services companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, earnings, profitability, valuation, risk, analyst recommendations and institutional ownership.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Acacia Research Corporation and Odyssey Marine Exploration’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Acacia Research Corporation $111.94 million 1.38 $13.80 million ($0.57) -5.35
Odyssey Marine Exploration $4.75 million 6.82 -$8.87 million ($1.11) -3.48

Acacia Research Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Odyssey Marine Exploration. Acacia Research Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Odyssey Marine Exploration, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Acacia Research Corporation and Odyssey Marine Exploration’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Acacia Research Corporation -25.64% -1.06% -0.95%
Odyssey Marine Exploration N/A N/A -187.81%

Insider & Institutional Ownership

75.9% of Acacia Research Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 7.8% of Odyssey Marine Exploration shares are held by institutional investors. 2.8% of Acacia Research Corporation shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 8.2% of Odyssey Marine Exploration shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Acacia Research Corporation and Odyssey Marine Exploration, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Acacia Research Corporation 1 0 1 0 2.00
Odyssey Marine Exploration 0 0 0 0 N/A

Acacia Research Corporation currently has a consensus price target of $6.50, indicating a potential upside of 113.11%. Given Acacia Research Corporation’s higher possible upside, research analysts plainly believe Acacia Research Corporation is more favorable than Odyssey Marine Exploration.

Volatility and Risk

Acacia Research Corporation has a beta of 1.15, indicating that its stock price is 15% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Odyssey Marine Exploration has a beta of 3.13, indicating that its stock price is 213% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Acacia Research Corporation beats Odyssey Marine Exploration on 7 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

Acacia Research Corporation Company Profile

Acacia Research Corporation, through its subsidiaries, invests in, licenses and enforces patented technologies. The Company’s operating subsidiaries partner with inventors and patent owners, applying their legal and technology expertise to patent assets to unlock the financial value in their patented inventions. The Company’s operating subsidiaries assist patent owners with the prosecution and development of their patent portfolios, the protection of their patented inventions from unauthorized use, the generation of licensing revenue from users of their patented technologies and, where necessary, with the enforcement against unauthorized users of their patented technologies through the filing of patent infringement litigation. The Company’s operating subsidiaries own or control the rights to multiple patent portfolios, which include the United States patents and certain foreign counterparts, covering technologies used in a range of industries.

Odyssey Marine Exploration Company Profile

Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (Odyssey) is a deep-ocean exploration company. The Company’s techniques are applied to mineral exploration, shipwreck cargo recovery, and other marine survey and exploration charter services. The Company is engaged in discovering shipwreck sites in the deep ocean and conducting archaeological excavations with remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). Its shipwreck discoveries include the SS Republic, HMS Victory, Black Swan, La Marquise de Tourny and other unidentified shipwrecks. The Company offers exploration services, including geophysical and geotechnical assessments of seabed mineral deposits to companies, including its subsidiaries and companies, in which it holds an equity position, as a resource development partner. The Company evaluates or explores various types of seabed mineral deposits, such as phosphorites, polymetallic nodules and seafloor massive sulfides. Odyssey offers its marine exploration services to third-party companies.

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