BioMarin Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ: BMRN) and Alexion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALXN) are both large-cap medical companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, analyst recommendations, earnings, profitability, valuation, institutional ownership and risk.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

97.3% of BioMarin Pharmaceutical shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 94.3% of Alexion Pharmaceuticals shares are held by institutional investors. 1.9% of BioMarin Pharmaceutical shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 4.4% of Alexion Pharmaceuticals shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Risk and Volatility

BioMarin Pharmaceutical has a beta of 1.85, suggesting that its share price is 85% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Alexion Pharmaceuticals has a beta of 1.39, suggesting that its share price is 39% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for BioMarin Pharmaceutical and Alexion Pharmaceuticals, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
BioMarin Pharmaceutical 0 6 16 0 2.73
Alexion Pharmaceuticals 0 5 16 1 2.82

BioMarin Pharmaceutical presently has a consensus target price of $113.10, indicating a potential upside of 28.33%. Alexion Pharmaceuticals has a consensus target price of $155.43, indicating a potential upside of 10.66%. Given BioMarin Pharmaceutical’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe BioMarin Pharmaceutical is more favorable than Alexion Pharmaceuticals.

Profitability

This table compares BioMarin Pharmaceutical and Alexion Pharmaceuticals’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
BioMarin Pharmaceutical -15.54% -5.77% -4.00%
Alexion Pharmaceuticals 15.31% 12.47% 8.15%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares BioMarin Pharmaceutical and Alexion Pharmaceuticals’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
BioMarin Pharmaceutical $1.20 billion 12.87 -$106.70 million ($1.09) -80.85
Alexion Pharmaceuticals $3.41 billion 9.19 $1.34 billion $2.31 60.81

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

Summary

Alexion Pharmaceuticals beats BioMarin Pharmaceutical on 9 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

BioMarin Pharmaceutical Company Profile

BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. is a biotechnology company. The Company develops and commercializes pharmaceuticals for various diseases and medical conditions. As of December 31, 2016, the Company’s therapy portfolio consisted of five products, and multiple clinical and pre-clinical product candidates. Its commercial products include Aldurazyme (laronidase) for Mucopolysaccharidosis I (MPS I), Firdapse (amifampridine phosphate) for Lambert Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome (LEMS), Kuvan (sapropterin dihydrochloride) for phenylketonuria (PKU), Naglazyme (galsulfase) for Mucopolysaccharidosis VI (MPS VI) and Vimizim (elosulfase alpha) for Mucopolysaccharidosis IV Type A (MPS IV A). The Company is conducting clinical trials on various product candidates for the treatment of various diseases. Its clinical product candidates include Brineura, pegvaliase, vosoritide, BMN 270 and BMN 250.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals Company Profile

Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company is focused on the development and commercialization of therapeutic products. The Company’s products include Soliris (eculizumab), Strensiq (asfotase alfa) and Kanuma (sebelipase alfa). The Company’s clinical development programs include Soliris (eculizumab), cPMP (ALXN1101), SBC-103, ALXN1210 (IV) and ALXN1210 (Subcutaneous). Its Soliris is the therapeutic approved for patients with either paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) or hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS). PNH and aHUS result from chronic uncontrolled activation of the complement component of the immune system. Its Strensiq is for the treatment of patients with Hypophosphatasia (HPP). Its product, Kanuma is for the treatment of patients with Lysosomal Acid Lipase Deficiency (LAL-D). It is a recombinant form of the human LAL enzyme, which is a replacement therapy that is approved for the treatment for patients with LAL-D.

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