Reviewing Navient (NASDAQ:NAVI) and Merriman (MERR)

Navient (NASDAQ:NAVI) and Merriman (OTCMKTS:MERR) are both finance companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, valuation, dividends, risk, profitability, earnings and institutional ownership.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

96.3% of Navient shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.9% of Navient shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 63.0% of Merriman shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

Navient pays an annual dividend of $0.64 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.3%. Merriman does not pay a dividend. Navient pays out 30.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Risk and Volatility

Navient has a beta of 2.29, indicating that its stock price is 129% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Merriman has a beta of 2.33, indicating that its stock price is 133% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Navient and Merriman’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Navient 7.04% 14.08% 0.48%
Merriman N/A N/A N/A

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Navient and Merriman’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Navient $5.61 billion 0.53 $395.00 million $2.09 5.83
Merriman N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Navient has higher revenue and earnings than Merriman.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for Navient and Merriman, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Navient 0 2 3 0 2.60
Merriman 0 0 0 0 N/A

Navient presently has a consensus target price of $14.94, suggesting a potential upside of 22.54%. Given Navient’s higher probable upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Navient is more favorable than Merriman.

Summary

Navient beats Merriman on 8 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Navient

Navient Corporation provides education loan management and business processing solutions for education, healthcare, and government clients at the federal, state, and local levels in the United States. It operates in three segments: Federal Education Loans, Consumer Lending, and Business Processing. The company holds and acquires Federal Family Education Loan Program loans that are insured or guaranteed by state or not-for-profit agencies; and performs servicing and asset recovery services on its own loan portfolio, and federal education loans owned by the United States Department of Education and other institutions. It also holds, originates, and acquires consumer loans; and performs servicing activities on its own education loan portfolio, including primarily private education loans, and private education refinance loans. In addition, the company offers revenue cycle management and business processing services; and healthcare services that include revenue cycle outsourcing, accounts receivable management, extended business office support, and consulting engagement for federal, state, and municipal clients; public authorities; and healthcare organizations. Further, it provides customizable solutions for its clients that include non-profit/religious-affiliated hospital systems, teaching hospitals, urban medical centers, for-profit healthcare systems, critical access hospitals, children's hospitals, and various physician groups. The company was founded in 1973 and is headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware.

About Merriman

Merriman Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiary, Merriman Capital, Inc., provides capital market advisory and research, corporate, and investment banking services primarily in the United States and Canada. The company's investment banking services include corporate financing services, such as initial public offerings, secondary offerings, and private placements services; and strategic advisory services comprise transaction-specific advice regarding mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, spin-offs, and privatizations, as well as general strategic advice. It also offers institutional brokerage services, including institutional sales trading and equity execution, and options execution services to institutional clients. In addition, the company executes securities transactions for money managers, mutual funds, hedge funds, insurance companies, and pension and profit-sharing plans; and provides integrated research and trading solutions, as well as capital markets advisory services. It primarily serves institutional investors and corporate clients. The company was formerly known as Merriman Curhan Ford Group, Inc. and changed its name to Merriman Holdings, Inc. in August 2010. Merriman Holdings, Inc. was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

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