NanoString Technologies (NASDAQ: NSTG) and TrovaGene (NASDAQ:TROV) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, profitabiliy, risk, institutional ownership, valuation, dividends and analyst recommendations.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for NanoString Technologies and TrovaGene, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
NanoString Technologies 0 1 1 0 2.50
TrovaGene 1 0 2 0 2.33

NanoString Technologies presently has a consensus price target of $20.00, suggesting a potential upside of 23.84%. TrovaGene has a consensus price target of $4.45, suggesting a potential upside of 206.90%. Given TrovaGene’s higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe TrovaGene is more favorable than NanoString Technologies.

Profitability

This table compares NanoString Technologies and TrovaGene’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
NanoString Technologies -57.13% -6,777.29% -46.14%
TrovaGene -10,938.20% -162.31% -77.68%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares NanoString Technologies and TrovaGene’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
NanoString Technologies $89.86 million 3.90 -$42.26 million ($2.48) -6.51
TrovaGene $355,623.00 126.28 -$35.52 million ($1.34) -1.08

TrovaGene has higher revenue, but lower earnings than NanoString Technologies. NanoString Technologies is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than TrovaGene, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility and Risk

NanoString Technologies has a beta of 1.09, meaning that its stock price is 9% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, TrovaGene has a beta of 0.45, meaning that its stock price is 55% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

87.1% of NanoString Technologies shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 18.2% of TrovaGene shares are held by institutional investors. 24.4% of NanoString Technologies shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 7.4% of TrovaGene shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

NanoString Technologies beats TrovaGene on 7 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About NanoString Technologies

NanoString Technologies, Inc. develops, manufactures and sells intuitive products that unlock scientifically valuable and clinically actionable biologic information from minute amounts of tissue. The Company is engaged in the development, manufacture and commercialization of instruments, consumables and services for profiling the activity of hundreds of genes and proteins simultaneously from a single tissue sample. The Company’s nCounter Analysis System is an automated, multi-application, digital detection and counting system, which directly profiles hundreds of molecules simultaneously using a barcoding technology. The Company markets systems and related consumables to researchers in academic, government and biopharmaceutical laboratories for use in understanding fundamental biology and the molecular basis of diseases, such as cancer, and to clinical laboratories and medical centers for diagnostic use.

About TrovaGene

Trovagene, Inc. (TrovaGene) is a molecular diagnostic company. The Company focuses on the development and commercialization of a molecular diagnostic technology for use in disease detection and monitoring across a range of medical disciplines. Its primary internal focus is to leverage its cell-free molecular diagnostic platform to facilitate improvements in the field of oncology, while its external focus includes entering into license agreements or collaborations to develop its technology in areas, such as infectious disease, transplant medicine and prenatal genetics. It has ongoing clinical collaborations to demonstrate the ability to determine and monitor mutational status and response to therapy in lung, colon, pancreatic and skin cancer. It uses its molecular diagnostic technology for the detection of cell-free deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) originating from diseased cell death that can be isolated and detected from urine, blood and tissue samples to develop disease management.

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