Spark Therapeutics (NASDAQ: ONCE) and Sucampo Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SCMP) are both small-cap healthcare companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, dividends, analyst recommendations, valuation, profitabiliy, risk and institutional ownership.

Profitability

This table compares Spark Therapeutics and Sucampo Pharmaceuticals’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Spark Therapeutics -4,102.83% -67.67% -59.17%
Sucampo Pharmaceuticals 11.36% 43.27% 13.33%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Spark Therapeutics and Sucampo Pharmaceuticals’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Spark Therapeutics $20.17 million 91.61 -$137.08 million ($5.03) -11.80
Sucampo Pharmaceuticals $239.13 million 2.13 $128.05 million $0.61 17.95

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

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Spark Therapeutics and Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Spark Therapeutics 1 1 8 0 2.70
Sucampo Pharmaceuticals 0 1 5 0 2.83

Spark Therapeutics presently has a consensus target price of $71.28, suggesting a potential upside of 20.08%. Sucampo Pharmaceuticals has a consensus target price of $17.17, suggesting a potential upside of 56.77%. Given Sucampo Pharmaceuticals’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Sucampo Pharmaceuticals is more favorable than Spark Therapeutics.

Risk and Volatility

Spark Therapeutics has a beta of 3.36, suggesting that its share price is 236% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Sucampo Pharmaceuticals has a beta of 1.46, suggesting that its share price is 46% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

89.0% of Spark Therapeutics shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 57.0% of Sucampo Pharmaceuticals shares are held by institutional investors. 7.3% of Spark Therapeutics shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 4.1% of Sucampo Pharmaceuticals shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Sucampo Pharmaceuticals beats Spark Therapeutics on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Spark Therapeutics

Spark Therapeutics, Inc. is a gene therapy company. The Company focuses on treating orphan diseases. It has a pipeline of product candidates targeting multiple rare blinding conditions, hematologic disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. Its pipeline includes a product candidate targeting choroideremia (CHM), which is in a Phase I/II clinical trial and a product candidate for hemophilia A, which is in a Phase I/II clinical trial. Its product investigational candidate, voretigene neparvovec, is intended to treat a genetic blinding condition or inherited retinal disease (IRD). The programs targeting hematologic disorders include SPK-FIX, for which the lead product candidate, SPK-9001, is in a Phase I/II clinical trial for the treatment of hemophilia B, as well as SPK-FVIII for the treatment of hemophilia A. In its SPK-FVIII program for the treatment of hemophilia A, the Company has initiated a dose-escalating Phase I/II clinical trial for its lead product candidate, SPK-8011.

About Sucampo Pharmaceuticals

Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company is focused on the development and commercialization of pharmaceutical products. Its primary focus areas are gastroenterology, ophthalmology and oncology-related disorders. Its product candidates include VTS-270, Lubiprostone (AMITIZA), Unoprostone is opropyl (RESCULA) and CPP-1X/sulindac combination product. VTS-270 is an investigational drug under clinical study for the treatment of Niemann-Pick Disease Type C-1, an ultra-orphan, progressive and fatal disease. AMITIZA is a ClC-2 chloride channel activator, which has been approved for three indications that cover distinct patient types: chronic idiopathic constipation, irritable bowel syndrome with constipation, and opioid-induced constipation. RESCULA is a Big Potassium channel activator used to lower intraocular pressure. CPP-1X/sulindac combination product is meant for the treatment of familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP).

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