Shire PLC (NASDAQ: SHPG) and Marinus Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:MRNS) are both medical companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, dividends, valuation, analyst recommendations, earnings, profitabiliy and institutional ownership.


This table compares Shire PLC and Marinus Pharmaceuticals’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Shire PLC 2.14% 13.05% 5.64%
Marinus Pharmaceuticals N/A -119.58% -83.18%

Risk and Volatility

Shire PLC has a beta of 1.6, indicating that its stock price is 60% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Marinus Pharmaceuticals has a beta of 2.03, indicating that its stock price is 103% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

21.1% of Shire PLC shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 32.7% of Marinus Pharmaceuticals shares are held by institutional investors. 2.0% of Shire PLC shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 6.4% of Marinus Pharmaceuticals shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Shire PLC and Marinus Pharmaceuticals’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Shire PLC N/A N/A N/A $0.74 222.12
Marinus Pharmaceuticals N/A N/A -$26.50 million ($1.36) -1.07

Marinus Pharmaceuticals is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Shire PLC, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.


Shire PLC pays an annual dividend of $0.91 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.6%. Marinus Pharmaceuticals does not pay a dividend. Shire PLC pays out 123.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings for Shire PLC and Marinus Pharmaceuticals, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Shire PLC 0 5 15 0 2.75
Marinus Pharmaceuticals 0 0 1 0 3.00

Shire PLC currently has a consensus target price of $229.10, suggesting a potential upside of 39.38%. Marinus Pharmaceuticals has a consensus target price of $3.00, suggesting a potential upside of 106.90%. Given Marinus Pharmaceuticals’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Marinus Pharmaceuticals is more favorable than Shire PLC.

Shire PLC Company Profile

Shire plc is a biotech company focused on serving people with rare diseases and other specialized conditions. The Company’s segment is engaged in research, development, licensing, manufacturing, marketing, distribution and sale of specialist medicines. It focuses its development resources on projects in various therapeutic areas (TAs), including Neuroscience, Ophthalmology, Hematology, Oncology, Immunology, Gastrointestinal (GI)/Metabolic/Endocrinology Diseases. Its Hematology products include ADVATE (Antihemophilic Factor (Recombinant)), ADYNOVATE/ADYNOVI (Antihemophilic Factor (Recombinant), PEGylated)), RIXUBIS (Coagulation Factor IX (Recombinant)), VONVENDI (von Willebrand factor (Recombinant)) and FEIBA (Anti-Inhibitor Coagulant Complex). Its Genetic Diseases products include CINRYZE (C1 esterase inhibitor (human)), FIRAZYR (icatibant), ELAPRASE (idursulfase), REPLAGAL (agalsidase alfa) and VPRIV (velaglucerase alfa).

Marinus Pharmaceuticals Company Profile

Marinus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. The Company focuses on developing and commercializing therapeutics to treat epilepsy and neuropsychiatric disorders. Its clinical-stage product candidate, ganaxolone, is a modulator being developed in various dose forms, including intravenous, oral capsule and oral liquid, intended to provide more treatment options to adult and pediatric patient populations in both acute and chronic care settings. Ganaxolone acts on the GABAA receptor, a target in the brain known for both anti seizure and anti anxiety effects through positive allosteric modulation. The Company is developing ganaxolone for multiple epilepsy and other neuropsychiatric indications, including adjunctive, or add-on, therapy for the treatment of drug-resistant focal onset seizures; status epilepticus; Fragile X Syndrome, and PCDH19 pediatric epilepsy.

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