Vericel Corporation (NASDAQ: VCEL) and ChemoCentryx (NASDAQ:CCXI) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, risk, profitabiliy, earnings, dividends, analyst recommendations and valuation.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

31.9% of Vericel Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 49.4% of ChemoCentryx shares are held by institutional investors. 3.3% of Vericel Corporation shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 26.8% of ChemoCentryx shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings for Vericel Corporation and ChemoCentryx, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Vericel Corporation 0 0 3 0 3.00
ChemoCentryx 0 1 2 0 2.67

Vericel Corporation currently has a consensus price target of $6.00, suggesting a potential upside of 79.10%. ChemoCentryx has a consensus price target of $11.00, suggesting a potential upside of 9.02%. Given Vericel Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, research analysts clearly believe Vericel Corporation is more favorable than ChemoCentryx.

Risk & Volatility

Vericel Corporation has a beta of 3.1, suggesting that its stock price is 210% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, ChemoCentryx has a beta of 1.44, suggesting that its stock price is 44% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Vericel Corporation and ChemoCentryx’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Vericel Corporation -55.77% N/A -62.30%
ChemoCentryx N/A -58.48% -21.03%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Vericel Corporation and ChemoCentryx’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Vericel Corporation $49.64 million 2.21 -$22.39 million ($1.25) -2.68
ChemoCentryx $20.17 million 24.10 -$31.34 million ($0.65) -15.52

Vericel Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than ChemoCentryx. ChemoCentryx is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Vericel Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Vericel Corporation beats ChemoCentryx on 7 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Vericel Corporation

Vericel Corporation, formerly Aastrom Biosciences, Inc., is a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the identification, development and commercialization of therapies that enable the body to repair and regenerate damaged tissues and organs to restore normal structure and function. The Company operates through the research, product development, manufacture and distribution of patient-specific, expanded cellular therapies for use in the treatment of specific diseases segment. Its autologous cell therapy products include Carticel (autologous cultured chondrocytes), which is an autologous chondrocyte implant for the treatment of cartilage defects in the knee, and Epicel (cultured epidermal autografts), which is a permanent skin replacement for the treatment of patients with deep-dermal or full-thickness burns. The Company is developing MACI, which is a third-generation autologous chondrocyte implant and ixmyelocel-T, which is a patient-specific multicellular therapy.

About ChemoCentryx

ChemoCentryx, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in developing new medications targeted at inflammatory disorders, autoimmune diseases and cancer. Each of its drug candidates focuses on a specific chemoattractant receptor that selectively blocks its negative inflammatory or suppressive response, leaving the rest of the immune system intact. Its late stage compounds include Avacopan (CCX168) and CCX140. Avacopan (CCX168) is an orally administered complement inhibitor targeting the C5a receptor (C5aR), and is being developed for orphan and rare diseases, including anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic auto-antibody associated vasculitis (AAV); atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), and complement 3 glomerulopathy (C3G). CCX140 is an orally administered inhibitor of the chemokine receptor known as C-C chemokine receptor type 2 (CCR2), in development for diabetic nephropathy (DN), a form of chronic kidney disease (CKD), and for focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS).

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