Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR) and INC Research Holdings (NASDAQ:INCR) are both mid-cap medical companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, risk, valuation, earnings and profitabiliy.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and recommmendations for Nektar Therapeutics and INC Research Holdings, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Nektar Therapeutics 0 0 8 0 3.00
INC Research Holdings 0 4 4 0 2.50

Nektar Therapeutics presently has a consensus price target of $26.29, suggesting a potential upside of 27.17%. INC Research Holdings has a consensus price target of $62.50, suggesting a potential upside of 9.75%. Given Nektar Therapeutics’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, research analysts plainly believe Nektar Therapeutics is more favorable than INC Research Holdings.

Risk & Volatility

Nektar Therapeutics has a beta of 1.48, meaning that its stock price is 48% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, INC Research Holdings has a beta of 1.47, meaning that its stock price is 47% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

93.6% of Nektar Therapeutics shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 98.7% of INC Research Holdings shares are held by institutional investors. 6.1% of Nektar Therapeutics shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 0.2% of INC Research Holdings shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Nektar Therapeutics and INC Research Holdings’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Nektar Therapeutics $131.28 million 24.43 -$142.14 million ($1.38) -14.98
INC Research Holdings $1.03 billion 2.99 $230.43 million $2.09 27.25

INC Research Holdings has higher revenue and earnings than Nektar Therapeutics. Nektar Therapeutics is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than INC Research Holdings, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Nektar Therapeutics and INC Research Holdings’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Nektar Therapeutics -150.74% -3,072.86% -39.87%
INC Research Holdings 7.37% 43.17% 10.10%

Summary

INC Research Holdings beats Nektar Therapeutics on 7 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Nektar Therapeutics

Nektar Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company that discovers and develops medicines in areas of high unmet medical need. The Company’s research and development pipeline of new investigational drugs includes treatments for cancer, auto-immune disease and chronic pain. It leverages its chemistry platform to discover and design new drug candidates. These drug candidates utilize its polymer conjugate technology platforms, which are designed to enable the development of new molecular entities that target known mechanisms of action. Its programs include Immuno-oncology (I-O), Immunology, Pain-NKTR-181 and Oncology-ONZEALD. It is developing medicines designed to directly or indirectly modulate the activity of key immune cells, such as cytotoxic T cells and Natural Killer (NK) cells, to increase their numbers and improve their function to recognize and attack cancer cells.

About INC Research Holdings

INC Research Holdings, Inc. is a global contract research organization (CRO). The Company focuses on Phase I to Phase IV clinical development services for the biopharmaceutical and medical device industries. The Company operates through two segments: Clinical Development Services and Phase I Services. The Company’s Clinical Development Services segment offers a range of clinical development services, including full-service global studies, as well as ancillary services, such as clinical monitoring, investigator recruitment, patient recruitment, data management, study reports to assist customers with their drug development process, quality assurance audits and specialized consulting services. The Phase I Services segment focuses on clinical development services for Phase I trials, which include scientific exploratory medicine, first-in-human studies through proof-of-concept stages and support for Phase I studies in established compounds.

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