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

Risk and Volatility

Biocept has a beta of 3, meaning that its share price is 200% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, NanoString Technologies has a beta of 1.09, meaning that its share price is 9% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and target prices for Biocept and NanoString Technologies, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Biocept 0 0 3 0 3.00
NanoString Technologies 0 1 2 0 2.67

Biocept presently has a consensus price target of $2.50, indicating a potential upside of 73.61%. NanoString Technologies has a consensus price target of $20.00, indicating a potential upside of 25.39%. Given Biocept’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Biocept is more favorable than NanoString Technologies.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Biocept and NanoString Technologies’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Biocept $4.68 million 8.18 -$17.28 million ($1.65) -0.87
NanoString Technologies $89.86 million 3.85 -$42.26 million ($2.48) -6.43

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

Profitability

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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Biocept -383.29% -1,177.51% -204.76%
NanoString Technologies -57.13% -6,777.29% -46.14%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

14.8% of Biocept shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 87.1% of NanoString Technologies shares are owned by institutional investors. 7.7% of Biocept shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 24.4% of NanoString Technologies shares are owned 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

Biocept beats NanoString Technologies on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Biocept Company Profile

Biocept, Inc. is an early commercial-stage molecular oncology diagnostics company. The Company develops and commercializes circulating tumor cell (CTC) and circulating tumor deoxyribonucleic acid (ctDNA), assays utilizing a standard blood sample, or liquid biopsy. The Company’s Target-Selector offering is based on an internally developed, microfluidics-based CTC capture and analysis platform, with enabling features that change how CTC testing can be used by clinicians by providing biomarker detection and monitoring requiring only a standard blood sample. The ctDNA technology enables mutation detection and is applicable to nucleic acid from CTCs or other sample types, such as blood plasma. The Company commercializes its Target-Selector assays for a range of solid tumor indications, such as breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), small cell lung cancer (SCLC), gastric cancer, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer and melanoma.

NanoString Technologies Company Profile

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.

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