AEterna Zentaris (NASDAQ: AEZS) and Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics (NASDAQ:BCLI) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, valuation, profitability, risk, earnings and dividends.

Volatility and Risk

AEterna Zentaris has a beta of 1.12, indicating that its share price is 12% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics has a beta of 2.28, indicating that its share price is 128% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

2.9% of AEterna Zentaris shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 12.7% of Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics shares are held by institutional investors. 24.7% of Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and recommmendations for AEterna Zentaris and Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
AEterna Zentaris 0 0 3 0 3.00
Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics 0 0 1 0 3.00

AEterna Zentaris currently has a consensus price target of $4.33, suggesting a potential upside of 130.50%. Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics has a consensus price target of $9.00, suggesting a potential upside of 103.62%. Given AEterna Zentaris’ higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe AEterna Zentaris is more favorable than Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics.

Profitability

This table compares AEterna Zentaris and Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
AEterna Zentaris -1,945.78% -514.64% -85.79%
Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics N/A -76.45% -59.84%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares AEterna Zentaris and Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
AEterna Zentaris $1.08 million 28.04 -$27.36 million ($1.81) -1.04
Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics N/A N/A -$5.81 million ($0.32) -13.81

Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics has higher revenue, but lower earnings than AEterna Zentaris. Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than AEterna Zentaris, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics beats AEterna Zentaris on 8 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

AEterna Zentaris Company Profile

Aeterna Zentaris Inc is a specialty biopharmaceutical company engaged in developing and commercializing treatments in oncology, endocrinology and women’s health. The Company operates through the biopharmaceutical segment. The Company is engaged in drug development activities and in the promotion of products for others. The Company’s principal product candidates are Zoptrex (zoptarelin doxorubicin) and Macrilen (macimorelin) in oncology and endocrinology. The Company focuses on its product candidates Zoptrex and Macrilen, which are in Phase III clinical development, and on a luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH)-disorazol Z conjugate (AEZS-138), which is in pre-clinical development in oncology and is available for partnering. The Company’s direct and indirect subsidiaries include AEZS GmbH, Zentaris IVF GmbH and Aeterna Zentaris, Inc.

Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics Company Profile

Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. is a biotechnology company. The Company is engaged in developing adult stem cell therapies for debilitating neurodegenerative disorders, such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson’s disease (PD), among others. Its subsidiary, Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics Ltd. (the Israeli Subsidiary), holds rights to commercialize the technology, NurOwn. NurOwn is in clinical development for the treatment of ALS. The Company has completed over two clinical trials of NurOwn in patients with ALS at Hadassah Medical Center (Hadassah). The first study, a Phase I/II safety and efficacy study of NurOwn in ALS patients administered either intramuscularly or intrathecally. The Company conducted Phase IIa combined (intramuscular and intrathecal) treatment, dose-escalating trial. It had completed treatment of over 10 patients in its ALS Phase IIa NurOwn dose-escalating clinical trial.

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