Merrimack Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: MACK) and Charles River Laboratories International (NYSE:CRL) are both medical companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, earnings, dividends, institutional ownership, profitability, analyst recommendations and risk.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

98.7% of Charles River Laboratories International shares are owned by institutional investors. 8.5% of Merrimack Pharmaceuticals shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.2% of Charles River Laboratories International shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Merrimack Pharmaceuticals and Charles River Laboratories International’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Merrimack Pharmaceuticals $144.27 million 1.13 -$151.74 million $34.04 0.36
Charles River Laboratories International $1.68 billion 2.88 $154.76 million $4.09 25.01

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

Volatility & Risk

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals has a beta of 1.73, suggesting that its stock price is 73% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Charles River Laboratories International has a beta of 0.94, suggesting that its stock price is 6% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Merrimack Pharmaceuticals and Charles River Laboratories International’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Merrimack Pharmaceuticals N/A N/A -68.02%
Charles River Laboratories International 11.42% 21.22% 7.54%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Merrimack Pharmaceuticals and Charles River Laboratories International, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Merrimack Pharmaceuticals 0 2 0 0 2.00
Charles River Laboratories International 0 5 5 0 2.50

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals presently has a consensus price target of $15.00, indicating a potential upside of 22.65%. Charles River Laboratories International has a consensus price target of $106.65, indicating a potential upside of 4.26%. Given Merrimack Pharmaceuticals’ higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Merrimack Pharmaceuticals is more favorable than Charles River Laboratories International.

Summary

Charles River Laboratories International beats Merrimack Pharmaceuticals on 9 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Merrimack Pharmaceuticals

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in discovering, developing and commercializing medicines consisting of therapeutics paired with companion diagnostics for the treatment of cancer. The Company has one marketed therapeutic oncology product and multiple targeted therapeutic oncology candidates in clinical development. Its advanced program is its therapeutic MM-398, which it markets in the United States under the brand name ONIVYDE. Its other clinical stage product candidates include MM-121, MM-141, MM-310, MM-302 and MM-151. The Company is developing in vitro and in vivo diagnostics for use with each of its oncology therapeutic product candidates. Its in vitro diagnostic agents employ biophysical or biochemical markers of cancer, or biomarkers. Its in vivo diagnostics take the form of imaging agents that may help identify patients likely to benefit from its therapeutic products by measuring deposition of its products in the tumor.

About Charles River Laboratories International

Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. is an early-stage contract research company. The Company is engaged in laboratory animal medicine and science (research model technologies) and develop a portfolio of discovery and safety assessment services, both good laboratory practice (GLP) and non-GLP, which supports its clients from target identification through non-clinical development. The Company operates in three segments: Research Models and Services (RMS), Discovery and Safety Assessment (DSA), and Manufacturing Support (Manufacturing). The RMS segment includes Research Models and Research Model Services. The DSA segment includes Discovery Services and Safety Assessment. The Manufacturing segment includes Microbial Solutions, Avian, Biologics and Contract Manufacturing. The Company also provides a suite of products and services to support the Company’s clients’ manufacturing activities.

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