Alliance HealthCare Services (NASDAQ: AIQ) and Cynosure (NASDAQ:CYNO) are both healthcare companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, earnings, analyst recommendations, valuation, profitability, dividends and institutional ownership.

Risk & Volatility

Alliance HealthCare Services has a beta of 0.66, suggesting that its stock price is 34% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Cynosure has a beta of 1.65, suggesting that its stock price is 65% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Alliance HealthCare Services and Cynosure’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Alliance HealthCare Services N/A N/A N/A ($0.17) -76.47
Cynosure N/A N/A N/A $0.65 101.49

Alliance HealthCare Services is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Cynosure, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings for Alliance HealthCare Services and Cynosure, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Alliance HealthCare Services 0 0 0 0 N/A
Cynosure 0 3 4 0 2.57

Cynosure has a consensus price target of $58.33, suggesting a potential downside of 11.58%. Given Cynosure’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Cynosure is more favorable than Alliance HealthCare Services.


This table compares Alliance HealthCare Services and Cynosure’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Alliance HealthCare Services 3.63% N/A 3.07%
Cynosure 0.70% 0.75% 0.59%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

27.0% of Alliance HealthCare Services shares are held by institutional investors. 54.8% of Alliance HealthCare Services shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.9% of Cynosure shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.


Cynosure beats Alliance HealthCare Services on 5 of the 9 factors compared between the two stocks.

Alliance HealthCare Services Company Profile

Alliance HealthCare Services, Inc. (Alliance) is a provider of outsourced healthcare services to hospitals and providers. The Company operates through three segments: Radiology Division, Oncology Division and Interventional Healthcare Services Division. The radiology segment comprises diagnostic imaging services, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) and other imaging services. The radiology segment also comprises radiation oncology services. The interventional healthcare services segment provides interventional healthcare through therapeutic minimally invasive pain management procedures medical management, laboratory testing and other services. The Company operates freestanding outpatient radiology, oncology and interventional clinics, and Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASC) that are not owned by hospitals or providers. It operates over 560 diagnostic imaging and radiation therapy systems.

Cynosure Company Profile

Cynosure, Inc. develops, manufactures and markets aesthetic treatment systems that enable plastic surgeons, dermatologists and other medical practitioners to perform non-invasive and minimally invasive procedures to remove hair, treat vascular and benign pigmented lesions, remove multi-colored tattoos, revitalize the skin, reduce fat through laser lipolysis, reduce cellulite, clear nails infected by toe fungus, ablate sweat glands and improve women’s health. The Company also markets radiofrequency (RF), energy-sourced medical devices for surgical applications, such as facial plastic and general surgery, gynecology, ear, nose, and throat procedures, ophthalmology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, podiatry and proctology. The Company sells its products globally under the Cynosure, Palomar, ConBio and Ellman brand names. Its product portfolio includes single energy source systems, as well as workstations that incorporate two or more different types of lasers or light-based technologies.

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