IRIDEX Corporation (NASDAQ: IRIX) and Alere (NYSE:ALR) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, risk, valuation, analyst recommendations, earnings, institutional ownership and profitabiliy.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

50.9% of IRIDEX Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 90.7% of Alere shares are held by institutional investors. 5.0% of IRIDEX Corporation shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 3.7% of Alere shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk and Volatility

IRIDEX Corporation has a beta of 1.28, suggesting that its stock price is 28% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Alere has a beta of 0.2, suggesting that its stock price is 80% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for IRIDEX Corporation and Alere, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
IRIDEX Corporation 0 0 1 0 3.00
Alere 0 5 1 0 2.17

IRIDEX Corporation presently has a consensus price target of $20.00, suggesting a potential upside of 109.86%. Alere has a consensus price target of $49.60, suggesting a potential downside of 1.29%. Given IRIDEX Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities research analysts plainly believe IRIDEX Corporation is more favorable than Alere.


This table compares IRIDEX Corporation and Alere’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
IRIDEX Corporation -30.60% -10.68% -8.69%
Alere -8.05% 13.82% 3.18%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares IRIDEX Corporation and Alere’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
IRIDEX Corporation $44.71 million 2.46 -$3.52 million ($1.30) -7.33
Alere $2.38 billion 1.84 $318.64 million ($2.45) -20.51

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

IRIDEX Corporation Company Profile

IRIDEX Corporation is a provider of therapeutic based laser consoles, delivery devices and consumable instrumentation used to treat sight-threatening eye diseases in ophthalmology. The Company operates through ophthalmology segment. Its ophthalmology products consist of laser consoles, delivery devices and consumable instrumentation, including laser probes, and are used in the treatment of serious eye diseases, including the over three causes of irreversible blindness, such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In addition, the Company’s ophthalmology products are often used in vitrectomy procedures (used to treat proliferative diabetic retinopathy, macular holes, retinal tears and detachments), which are generally performed in the operating room and require a consumable single use intraocular laser probe (EndoProbe) to deliver light to the back of the eye together with other instrumentation.

Alere Company Profile

Alere Inc. is a provider of health information through diagnostic tests. The Company’s segments include professional diagnostics, consumer diagnostics, and corporate and other. The professional diagnostics segment includes an array of diagnostic test products and other in vitro diagnostic tests marketed to medical professionals and laboratories for detection of diseases and conditions within its areas of focus. The consumer diagnostics segment consists primarily of manufacturing operations related to its role as the exclusive manufacturer of products for SPD Swiss Precision Diagnostics (SPD), its joint venture with The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G). The Company’s professional diagnostic solutions allow patients and their healthcare providers to work together to manage patients’ conditions over the continuum of care, from the hospital to home. The Company offers lines of drugs-of-abuse tests, reagent systems and laboratory testing options.

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