PRA Health Sciences (NASDAQ: PRAH) and Aptose Biosciences (NASDAQ:APTO) are both medical companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, risk, valuation, analyst recommendations, earnings, institutional ownership and profitability.

Risk and Volatility

PRA Health Sciences has a beta of 0.45, suggesting that its stock price is 55% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Aptose Biosciences has a beta of 1.64, suggesting that its stock price is 64% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

98.4% of PRA Health Sciences shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 4.5% of Aptose Biosciences shares are held by institutional investors. 2.1% of PRA Health Sciences shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares PRA Health Sciences and Aptose Biosciences’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
PRA Health Sciences $1.70 billion 2.73 $250.95 million $1.55 47.74
Aptose Biosciences N/A N/A -$12.50 million ($0.73) -2.18

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

Profitability

This table compares PRA Health Sciences and Aptose Biosciences’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
PRA Health Sciences 5.15% 21.17% 7.23%
Aptose Biosciences N/A -145.95% -124.12%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for PRA Health Sciences and Aptose Biosciences, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
PRA Health Sciences 0 1 8 0 2.89
Aptose Biosciences 0 1 4 0 2.80

PRA Health Sciences presently has a consensus price target of $84.71, suggesting a potential upside of 14.48%. Aptose Biosciences has a consensus price target of $7.75, suggesting a potential upside of 387.42%. Given Aptose Biosciences’ higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Aptose Biosciences is more favorable than PRA Health Sciences.

Summary

PRA Health Sciences beats Aptose Biosciences on 10 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

PRA Health Sciences Company Profile

PRA Health Sciences, Inc. is a contract research organization. The Company provides outsourced clinical development services to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. The Company offers therapeutic services in areas of pharmaceutical development, including oncology, central nervous system, inflammation and infectious diseases. Its services include data management, statistical analysis, clinical trial management, and regulatory and drug development consulting. It provides its clients with clinical development service offerings, which includes both traditional, project-based Phase I through Phase IV services, as well as embedded and functional outsourcing services. As of December 31, 2016, its clinical development platform included approximately 70 offices across North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America, South Africa, Australia and the Middle East. The Company’s service offerings include product registration, strategic solutions and early development services.

Aptose Biosciences Company Profile

Aptose Biosciences Inc. (Aptose) is a clinical-stage biotechnology company. The Company is engaged in the development of anticancer drugs that target specific epigenetic processes and signal transduction abnormalities that underlie a particular life-threatening malignancy. Its product pipeline includes cancer drug candidates that exert activity as stand-alone agents and that enhance the activities of other anticancer agents without causing overlapping toxicities. The Company develops therapeutics focused on epigenetic processes and signal transduction abnormalities at the edge of cancer research, coupled with companion diagnostics to identify the optimal patient population for its products. The Company’s APTO-253 is a small molecule that can induce expression of the genes that codes for the Kruppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) master transcription factor and the p21 cell cycle inhibitor protein.

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