Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ARWR) and BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:BCRX) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, analyst recommendations, risk, dividends, institutional ownership, earnings and profitability.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals and BioCryst Pharmaceuticals’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals $22.73 million 10.86 -$47.97 million ($0.66) -5.00
BioCryst Pharmaceuticals $29.28 million 14.15 -$42.94 million ($0.62) -8.31

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

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals and BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals 0 5 0 0 2.00
BioCryst Pharmaceuticals 0 3 7 0 2.70

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals currently has a consensus price target of $2.00, indicating a potential downside of 39.39%. BioCryst Pharmaceuticals has a consensus price target of $9.25, indicating a potential upside of 79.61%. Given BioCryst Pharmaceuticals’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe BioCryst Pharmaceuticals is more favorable than Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals.

Volatility and Risk

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals has a beta of 1.81, suggesting that its stock price is 81% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, BioCryst Pharmaceuticals has a beta of 3.34, suggesting that its stock price is 234% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals and BioCryst Pharmaceuticals’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals -201.84% -46.73% -34.08%
BioCryst Pharmaceuticals -160.97% -276.62% -44.43%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

20.6% of Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 86.2% of BioCryst Pharmaceuticals shares are owned by institutional investors. 4.6% of Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 5.8% of BioCryst Pharmaceuticals shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals beats Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals on 11 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Company Profile

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, Inc., formerly Arrowhead Research Corporation, develops medicines that treat intractable diseases by silencing the genes that cause them. Using a portfolio of ribonucleic acid (RNA) chemistries and modes of delivery, the Company’s therapies trigger the RNA interference mechanism to induce knockdown of target genes. The Company is focused on developing drugs for diseases with a genetic basis, characterized by the overproduction of one or more proteins. The Company’s preclinical pipeline of RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics includes both subcutaneously administered liver-targeted candidates and extra-hepatic candidates. The Company’s pre-clinical-stage drug candidates include ARO-HBV, ARO-AAT, ARO-LPA, ARO-AMG1, ARO-F12 and ARO-HIF2. ARO-HBV is an RNAi therapeutic candidate for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B infection. ARO-AAT is a therapeutic candidate for the treatment of liver disease associated with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency.

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Company Profile

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biotechnology company. The Company designs, optimizes and develops small molecule drugs that block enzymes involved in the pathogenesis of diseases. The Company focuses on the treatment of rare diseases. It uses X-ray crystallography, computer modeling of molecular structures and chemistry techniques to focus on the three-dimensional molecular structure and active site characteristics of the enzymes that control cellular biology. The Company’s drug candidates include RAPIVAB, RAPIACTA, ALPIVAB, PERAMIFLU, Avoralstat, BCX7353, other second generation hereditary angioedema (HAE) compounds, Galidesivir and Forodesine. Its product RAPIVAB contains peramivir. ALPIVAB is an intravenous neuraminidase inhibitor. Galidesivir is a broad-spectrum antiviral (BSAV) research program developed for the treatment of hemorrhagic fever viruses. Forodesine is a Purine Nucleoside Phosphorylase (PNP) inhibitor in development by Mundipharma as a treatment for cancer.

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