Catalyst Biosciences (NASDAQ: CBIO) and Ocera Therapeutics (NASDAQ:OCRX) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, dividends, earnings, profitability, valuation and risk.

Volatility & Risk

Catalyst Biosciences has a beta of 1.66, meaning that its share price is 66% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Ocera Therapeutics has a beta of 2.28, meaning that its share price is 128% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

29.2% of Catalyst Biosciences shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 20.3% of Ocera Therapeutics shares are owned by institutional investors. 5.0% of Catalyst Biosciences shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 6.1% of Ocera Therapeutics shares are owned 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.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and price targets for Catalyst Biosciences and Ocera Therapeutics, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Catalyst Biosciences 0 0 3 0 3.00
Ocera Therapeutics 0 2 3 0 2.60

Catalyst Biosciences currently has a consensus target price of $24.50, suggesting a potential upside of 520.25%. Ocera Therapeutics has a consensus target price of $4.50, suggesting a potential upside of 394.51%. Given Catalyst Biosciences’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Catalyst Biosciences is more favorable than Ocera Therapeutics.

Profitability

This table compares Catalyst Biosciences and Ocera Therapeutics’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Catalyst Biosciences -3,127.92% -92.61% -46.69%
Ocera Therapeutics -4,416.26% -175.02% -89.76%

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Catalyst Biosciences and Ocera Therapeutics’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Catalyst Biosciences $561,999.00 30.29 -$19.79 million ($17.78) -0.22
Ocera Therapeutics $550,000.00 43.86 -$24.06 million ($1.05) -0.87

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

Summary

Catalyst Biosciences beats Ocera Therapeutics on 8 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

Catalyst Biosciences Company Profile

Catalyst Biosciences, Inc., formerly Targacept, Inc., is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. The Company is focused on creating and developing medicines to address serious medical conditions. The Company focuses its product development efforts in the fields of hemostasis, including the treatment of hemophilia and surgical bleeding, and inflammation, including prevention of delayed graft function (DGF) in renal transplants and the treatment of dry age-related macular degeneration (dry AMD), a condition that can cause visual impairment or blindness. The Company’s advanced program is a coagulation Factor VIIa variant, CB 813d, that has completed a Phase I clinical trial in severe hemophilia A and B patients. In addition to its lead Factor VIIa program, it has approximately two other coagulation factors, a Factor IX variant, CB 2679d/ISU 304, that is in advanced preclinical development, and a Factor Xa variant that has reached the advanced lead preclinical-stage of development.

Ocera Therapeutics Company Profile

Ocera Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. The Company is focused on acute and chronic orphan liver diseases. The Company is focused on the development and commercialization of its clinical candidate, OCR-002, for the treatment of hepatic encephalopathy (HE). OCR-002 is a molecule, ornithine phenylacetate, which functions as an ammonia scavenger. It is conducting a randomized, placebo-controlled double blind Phase IIb clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of intravenous administration of OCR-002 IV formulation in reducing the severity of HE symptoms among HE patients. The Company also conducted a Phase IIa investigator-sponsored trial of OCR-002 in Spain in patients with upper gastrointestinal bleeding associated with liver cirrhosis. It is developing an oral form of OCR-002 to provide continuity of care for HE patients, where the intravenous form is used for hospital-based acute care and the oral form for chronic maintenance care post discharge.

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