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

Volatility & Risk

Argos Therapeutics has a beta of 1.38, suggesting that its share price is 38% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Vericel Corporation has a beta of 3.07, suggesting that its share price is 207% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Argos Therapeutics -12,391.15% -1,532.49% -92.03%
Vericel Corporation -50.27% N/A -59.46%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Argos Therapeutics and Vericel Corporation’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Argos Therapeutics $485,347.00 19.69 -$44.47 million ($1.48) -0.12
Vericel Corporation $53.77 million 2.78 -$20.03 million ($1.10) -4.14

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

Insider and Institutional Ownership

27.9% of Argos Therapeutics shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 33.9% of Vericel Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. 28.2% of Argos Therapeutics shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 3.3% of Vericel Corporation shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations for Argos Therapeutics and Vericel Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Argos Therapeutics 0 3 0 0 2.00
Vericel Corporation 0 0 3 0 3.00

Argos Therapeutics presently has a consensus target price of $4.13, indicating a potential upside of 2,278.21%. Vericel Corporation has a consensus target price of $6.33, indicating a potential upside of 39.19%. Given Argos Therapeutics’ higher probable upside, research analysts clearly believe Argos Therapeutics is more favorable than Vericel Corporation.

Summary

Vericel Corporation beats Argos Therapeutics on 10 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Argos Therapeutics

Argos Therapeutics, Inc. (Argos) is an immuno-oncology company. The Company is focused on the development and commercialization of individualized immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases based on its technology platform called Arcelis. The Company’s Arcelis technology platform utilizes biological components from a patient’s own cancer cells or virus to generate individualized immunotherapies. The Company is engaged in the development of AGS-003 for the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC), and other cancers. It is conducting a pivotal Phase III clinical trial of AGS-003 plus sunitinib or another targeted therapy for the treatment of newly diagnosed mRCC under a special protocol assessment (SPA). It is engaged in the development of AGS-004 for the treatment of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). It has conducted over three clinical trials of AGS-004, including a Phase IIb clinical trial, Phase IIa clinical trial and Phase I clinical trial.

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.

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