Amphastar Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AMPH) and Akorn (NASDAQ:AKRX) are both large-cap medical companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, risk, earnings, analyst recommendations, valuation, institutional ownership and profitability.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for Amphastar Pharmaceuticals and Akorn, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Amphastar Pharmaceuticals 0 1 5 0 2.83
Akorn 2 8 1 0 1.91

Akorn has a consensus target price of $29.13, indicating a potential downside of 12.14%. Given Amphastar Pharmaceuticals’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities analysts plainly believe Amphastar Pharmaceuticals is more favorable than Akorn.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Amphastar Pharmaceuticals and Akorn’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Amphastar Pharmaceuticals $255.16 million 3.46 $10.53 million $0.08 239.03
Akorn $1.12 billion 3.71 $184.24 million $0.99 33.48

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

Volatility & Risk

Amphastar Pharmaceuticals has a beta of 1.68, indicating that its stock price is 68% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Akorn has a beta of 1.33, indicating that its stock price is 33% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

44.0% of Amphastar Pharmaceuticals shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 69.4% of Akorn shares are held by institutional investors. 11.1% of Amphastar Pharmaceuticals shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 28.2% of Akorn shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.


This table compares Amphastar Pharmaceuticals and Akorn’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Amphastar Pharmaceuticals 1.61% 2.42% 1.84%
Akorn 7.79% 15.14% 6.51%


Akorn beats Amphastar Pharmaceuticals on 9 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Amphastar Pharmaceuticals Company Profile

Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a specialty pharmaceutical company. The Company focuses primarily on developing, manufacturing, marketing and selling generic and injectable, inhalation and intranasal products. The Company has two segments: finished pharmaceutical products and active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) products. The finished pharmaceutical products segment manufactures, markets and distributes enoxaparin, Cortrosyn, Amphadase, naloxone, lidocaine jelly, as well as various other critical and non-critical care drugs. The API segment manufactures and distributes recombinant human insulin and porcine insulin. The Company also manufactures and sells insulin API. As of December 31, 2016, the Company manufactured and sold 19 products. As of December 31, 2016, the Company developed a portfolio of 15 generic abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) three generic biosimilar product candidates and six injectable and inhalation product candidates.

Akorn Company Profile

Akorn Inc. (Akorn), together with its subsidiaries, is a specialty generic pharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures and markets generic and branded prescription pharmaceuticals, as well as private-label over-the-counter (OTC) consumer health products and animal health pharmaceuticals. The Company operates through two segments: Prescription Pharmaceuticals and the Consumer Health. The Prescription Pharmaceuticals segment consists of generic and branded prescription pharmaceuticals in a range of dosage forms, including sterile ophthalmics, injectables and inhalants and non-sterile oral liquids, topicals and nasal sprays and otics. The Consumer Health segment consists of branded and private-label OTC products and animal health products dispensed by veterinary professionals. Its branded and private-label OTC products are focused on ophthalmics, including a dry eye treatment TheraTears Therapy for Your Eyes.

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