Odyssey Marine Exploration (NASDAQ: OMEX) and Nelnet (NYSE:NNI) are both transportation companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, valuation, profitability, dividends, institutional ownership, risk and earnings.

Volatility & Risk

Odyssey Marine Exploration has a beta of 3.24, suggesting that its share price is 224% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Nelnet has a beta of 1.06, suggesting that its share price is 6% more volatile than the S&P 500.


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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Odyssey Marine Exploration N/A N/A -224.48%
Nelnet 17.51% 8.70% 0.71%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

8.8% of Odyssey Marine Exploration shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 39.6% of Nelnet shares are held by institutional investors. 8.2% of Odyssey Marine Exploration shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 46.1% of Nelnet shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Odyssey Marine Exploration and Nelnet’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Odyssey Marine Exploration $4.68 million 7.08 -$6.31 million ($1.10) -3.59
Nelnet $1.24 billion 1.76 $256.75 million $5.29 10.13

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


Nelnet pays an annual dividend of $0.56 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.0%. Odyssey Marine Exploration does not pay a dividend. Nelnet pays out 10.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Odyssey Marine Exploration and Nelnet, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Odyssey Marine Exploration 0 0 0 0 N/A
Nelnet 0 1 1 0 2.50

Nelnet has a consensus target price of $53.50, suggesting a potential downside of 0.13%. Given Nelnet’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Nelnet is more favorable than Odyssey Marine Exploration.


Nelnet beats Odyssey Marine Exploration on 11 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

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.

Nelnet Company Profile

Nelnet, Inc. focuses on delivering education-related products and services and student loan asset management. The Company is engaged in student loan servicing, tuition payment processing and school information systems, and communications. The Company’s segments include Loan Systems and Servicing, Tuition Payment Processing and Campus Commerce, Communications, Asset Generation and Management, and Corporate and Other Activities. The Company earns fee-based revenue through its Loan Systems and Servicing, Tuition Payment Processing, and Communications operating segments. In addition, the Company earns interest income on its student loan portfolio in its Asset Generation and Management operating segment. Corporate and Other Activities include real estate and other investments. The Company, through Allo Communications LLC, is engaged in the sale of advanced telecommunication services, including Internet, broadband, telephone, and television services.

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