TAMPA, Fla., May 18, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (NASDAQ:OMEX), a deep-ocean exploration pioneer engaged in the discovery, development and extraction of deep-ocean minerals, reported results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2020, and provided an update on current company operations and projects.
“While the Covid-19 pandemic has affected businesses around the globe, Odyssey has continued to make significant progress towards achieving our key objectives while temporarily transitioning our corporate office to a virtual environment,” said Mark Gordon, Odyssey Marine Exploration’s Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors.
“Our Exploraciones Oceanicas (ExO) phosphate project remains a prime focus.This project could significantly help Mexico gain fertilizer independence and food security, which are part of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s vision for his country. Odyssey is ready to move this important project forward for the benefit of both our shareholders and the people of Mexico,” continued Gordon. “We continue to work in good faith with the current administration to reach a mutually beneficial outcome for the project and discussions are ongoing. While we are hopeful an agreement will be reached, we must continue to pursue our North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) claim against Mexico to protect our shareholders’ rights.
“The NAFTA process is progressing well and the Arbitral Tribunal, consisting of three international arbitrators well-versed in international investment treaties, has been constituted. The Tribunal has issued their first procedural order which includes a deadline in the third quarter 2020 for Odyssey’s Memorial. This is the first filing that fully lays out our case, witnesses and evidence for the Tribunal. Our legal team and scientific staff have been working diligently on this filing for many months, and I am confident that a strong and compelling case will be presented to the Tribunal.
“Our confidence in the case has been further enhanced by a recent multi-million dollar investment that has been made into the fund that is providing non-recourse financing for our NAFTA case. Another professional litigation funder invested the additional capital after more than four months of extensive review of our NAFTA case that included intense expert legal and scientific analysis,” added Gordon.
“In addition to existing financing vehicles, expected cash inflows in 2020 include a multi-million dollar payment to Odyssey from completion of an agreement recently executed in relation to a shipwreck project.
“We continue to reduce expenses and carefully manage cash. Although expenses look higher year to year for first quarter, the cash required was actually reduced. Almost $1.4 million of expenses in first quarter were NAFTA legal expenses that have been funded through our $10.0 million litigation funding agreement. An additional $0.3 million included non-cash charges for share-based compensation and a change in a fair value of a debt instrument.”
“In addition to managing the ExO project, we continue to move forward and advance the value creation on our other our other seafloor mineral projects that contain critical and high-demand resources including cobalt, nickel, copper, rare earths and gold,” John Longley, Odyssey President and COO added.
First Quarter 2020 Financial Results
Total revenue in the current quarter was $1.0 million, a $0.2 million increase compared to the same period a year ago. The revenue generated in each period was a result of performing marine research, project administration and search and recovery operations for our customers and related parties.
Marketing, general and administrative expenses primarily include all costs within the following departments: Executive, Finance & Accounting, Legal, Information Technology, Human Resources, Marketing & Communications, Sales and Business Development. Marketing, general and administrative increased $0.1 million to $1.4 million for the three-month period ended March 31, 2020, compared to $1.3 million from the same period in the prior year. The key item contributing to this increase was a non-cash increase in share-based compensation of $0.1 million.
Operations and research expenses primarily include all costs within Archaeology, Conservation, Exhibits, Research, and Marine operations, which includes all vessel and charter operations. Operations and research expenses increased by $0.7 million from 2019 to 2020 primarily as a result of the following items: (i) a $0.8 million increase in financed professional fees, including legal, and other expenses directly associated with our NAFTA litigation pursuit, (ii) a $0.1 million decrease in marine asset depreciation, (iii) a $0.1 million increase in our concession permit fees for our Mexican subsidiary and (iv) a $0.1 million decrease in our marine services contracted labor.
The net loss for the quarter was $2.9 million or $0.30 per share.
Consolidated financial statements as well as Odyssey's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended March 30, 2020, are available on the company's website at www.odysseymarine.com as well as at www.sec.gov.
About Odyssey Marine Exploration
Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (Nasdaq:OMEX) is engaged in deep-ocean exploration using innovative methods and state-of-the-art technology to provide access to critical resources worldwide. Our core focus is the discovery, development and extraction of deep-ocean minerals. Odyssey also provides marine services for private clients and governments. For additional details, please visit www.odysseymarine.com.
Forward Looking Information
Odyssey Marine Exploration believes the information set forth in this Press Release may include "forward looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Act of 1934. Certain factors that could cause results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements are set forth in "Risk Factors" in Part I, Item 1A of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 30, 2020. The financial and operating projections as well as estimates of mining assets are based solely on the assumptions developed by Odyssey that it believes are reasonable based upon information available to Odyssey as of the date of this release. All projections and estimates are subject to material uncertainties and should not be viewed as a prediction or an assurance of actual future performance. The validity and accuracy of Odyssey's projections will depend upon unpredictable future events, many of which are beyond Odyssey's control and, accordingly, no assurance can be given that Odyssey's assumptions will prove true or that its projected results will be achieved.
Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) permits mining companies, in their filings with the SEC, to disclose only those mineral deposits that a company can economically and legally extract or produce. We use certain terms in this press release, such as "measured", "indicated," "inferred" and "resources," which the SEC guidelines strictly prohibit us from including in our filings with the SEC. "Inferred mineral resources" have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource will ever be upgraded to a higher category. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that part or all of the inferred mineral resource exists, or is economically or legally mineable, and are urged to consider closely the disclosures in our Form 10-K which may be secured from us or from the SEC's website at http://www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml.
Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc.
(813) 876-1776 x 2562
Source: Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc.