OraSure Technologies (NASDAQ: OSUR) and West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE:WST) are both medical companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, valuation, dividends, earnings and profitabiliy.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares OraSure Technologies and West Pharmaceutical Services’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
OraSure Technologies $135.07 million 8.92 $23.80 million $0.54 38.16
West Pharmaceutical Services $1.54 billion 4.15 $317.90 million $2.34 36.92

West Pharmaceutical Services has higher revenue and earnings than OraSure Technologies. West Pharmaceutical Services is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than OraSure Technologies, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Risk and Volatility

OraSure Technologies has a beta of 1.57, indicating that its stock price is 57% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, West Pharmaceutical Services has a beta of 1.1, indicating that its stock price is 10% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares OraSure Technologies and West Pharmaceutical Services’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
OraSure Technologies 22.29% 15.64% 13.88%
West Pharmaceutical Services 11.42% 14.02% 9.32%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations for OraSure Technologies and West Pharmaceutical Services, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
OraSure Technologies 0 1 5 0 2.83
West Pharmaceutical Services 0 1 2 0 2.67

OraSure Technologies currently has a consensus price target of $15.04, suggesting a potential downside of 27.00%. West Pharmaceutical Services has a consensus price target of $81.28, suggesting a potential downside of 5.93%. Given West Pharmaceutical Services’ higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe West Pharmaceutical Services is more favorable than OraSure Technologies.

Dividends

West Pharmaceutical Services pays an annual dividend of $0.52 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.6%. OraSure Technologies does not pay a dividend. West Pharmaceutical Services pays out 22.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. OraSure Technologies has raised its dividend for 24 consecutive years.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

89.9% of OraSure Technologies shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 92.0% of West Pharmaceutical Services shares are held by institutional investors. 7.8% of OraSure Technologies shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 1.9% of West Pharmaceutical Services shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

OraSure Technologies beats West Pharmaceutical Services on 11 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

OraSure Technologies Company Profile

OraSure Technologies, Inc. (OraSure) is involved in the development, manufacture, marketing and sale of oral fluid diagnostic products and specimen collection devices using its technologies, as well as other diagnostic products, including immunoassays and other in vitro diagnostic tests that are used on other specimen types. The Company operates in two segments: OSUR and DNAG. OSUR consists of the development, manufacture and sale of diagnostic products, specimen collection devices, and medical devices. DNAG or molecular collection systems business consists primarily of the development, manufacture and sale of oral fluid collection devices that are used to collect, stabilize, and store samples of genetic material for molecular testing. It also manufactures and sells medical devices used for the removal of benign skin lesions by cryosurgery or freezing. It sells over-the-counter (OTC) cryosurgical products to consumers in North America, Europe, Central and South America, and Australia.

West Pharmaceutical Services Company Profile

West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. is a manufacturer of packaging components and delivery systems for injectable drugs and healthcare products. The Company’s products include vial containment solutions, prefillable systems, self-injection platforms, cartridge systems and components, reconstitution and transfer systems, intradermal delivery solutions, specialty components, and contract manufacturing and analytical services. The Company’s segments include Proprietary Products and Contract-Manufactured Products. The Proprietary Products segment develops commercial and operational strategies across its global network, with specific emphasis on product offerings to biologic, generic and pharmaceutical drug customers. The Contract-Manufactured Products segment serves as an integrated business focused on the design, manufacture and automated assembly of various devices, primarily for pharmaceutical, diagnostic and medical device customers.

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