Curis (NASDAQ: CRIS) and Idera Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IDRA) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, earnings, dividends, profitability, valuation, risk and analyst recommendations.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

50.9% of Curis shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 30.9% of Idera Pharmaceuticals shares are held by institutional investors. 4.1% of Curis shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 30.3% of Idera Pharmaceuticals shares are held by 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.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Curis and Idera Pharmaceuticals’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Curis $8.31 million 29.43 -$48.51 million ($0.50) -3.40
Idera Pharmaceuticals $16.17 million 20.54 -$42.73 million ($0.33) -6.73

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

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and price targets for Curis and Idera Pharmaceuticals, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Curis 0 0 3 0 3.00
Idera Pharmaceuticals 0 0 5 0 3.00

Curis currently has a consensus target price of $6.50, indicating a potential upside of 282.35%. Idera Pharmaceuticals has a consensus target price of $5.02, indicating a potential upside of 126.13%. Given Curis’ higher probable upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Curis is more favorable than Idera Pharmaceuticals.

Profitability

This table compares Curis and Idera Pharmaceuticals’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Curis -836.18% -236.43% -88.44%
Idera Pharmaceuticals -300.63% -61.09% -55.14%

Volatility & Risk

Curis has a beta of 1.9, meaning that its share price is 90% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Idera Pharmaceuticals has a beta of 2.17, meaning that its share price is 117% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Idera Pharmaceuticals beats Curis on 9 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Curis

Curis, Inc. is a biotechnology company seeking to develop and commercialize drug candidates for the treatment of cancers. The Company’s drug candidate is CUDC-907, an orally-available, small molecule inhibitor of histone deacetylase (HDAC) and phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) enzymes. CUDC-907 is an oral, dual inhibitor of Class I and II HDAC, as well as Class I PI3K enzymes. CA-170 is an oral small molecule drug candidate that is designed to selectively target programmed death ligand-1 (PDL1) and V-domain Ig suppressor of T-cell activation (VISTA) immune checkpoint proteins, both of which independently function as negative regulators of immune activation. CA-4948 is an oral small molecule drug candidate that is designed to inhibit the Interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 4 (IRAK4) kinase, which is a transducer of toll-like receptor or certain interleukin receptor signaling pathways.

About Idera Pharmaceuticals

Idera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of therapeutics for oncology and rare diseases. The Company utilizes two drug discovery technology platforms to design and develop drug candidates, which include Toll-like receptor (TLR) targeting technology and third-generation antisense (3GA) technology. Using TLR technology, the Company designs synthetic oligonucleotide-based drug candidates to act by modulating the activity of specific TLRs. Using its 3GA technology, the Company is developing drug candidates to turn off the messenger ribo nucleic acid (mRNA) associated with disease causing genes. The Company’s drug candidates include IMO-8400, IMO-2125 and IMO-9200. The Company has designed TLR antagonists and agonists to act by modulating the activity of targeted TLRs. It is developing its 3GA technology to turn off the mRNA associated with disease causing genes.

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