Enzymotec (NASDAQ: ENZY) and Verenium (NASDAQ:VRNM) are both small-cap basic materials companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, risk, profitability, valuation, dividends, institutional ownership and analyst recommendations.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

15.9% of Enzymotec shares are held by institutional investors. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Enzymotec and Verenium’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Enzymotec -12.32% -3.26% -2.99%
Verenium N/A N/A N/A

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Enzymotec and Verenium’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Enzymotec $47.70 million 5.81 -$2.92 million ($0.27) -43.78
Verenium N/A N/A N/A ($1.56) -2.56

Verenium has lower revenue, but higher earnings than Enzymotec. Enzymotec is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Verenium, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility & Risk

Enzymotec has a beta of 1.23, suggesting that its share price is 23% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Verenium has a beta of 0.83, suggesting that its share price is 17% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for Enzymotec and Verenium, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Enzymotec 0 2 0 0 2.00
Verenium 0 0 0 0 N/A

Enzymotec presently has a consensus price target of $11.75, indicating a potential downside of 0.59%. Given Enzymotec’s higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Enzymotec is more favorable than Verenium.

Summary

Enzymotec beats Verenium on 5 of the 8 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Enzymotec

Enzymotec Ltd. is a nutritional ingredients and medical foods company. The Company’s technologies, research expertise and clinical validation process enables it to develop solutions across a range of products. The Company operates in two segments: Nutrition segment and VAYA Pharma segment. Both of the Company’s segments offer a range of products that leverage its lipid-related offerings. Its product suite addresses the entire human life-cycle, from infancy to old age, and comprises ingredients in products ranging from infant formula to nutritional supplements, as well as branded medical foods, sold only under a doctor’s supervision. It markets its product portfolio to established global consumer companies and physicians and target large and growing consumer health and wellness markets. The Company’s clinically-validated products include bio-functional lipid-based compounds designed to address dietary needs, medical disorders and common diseases.

About Verenium

Verenium Corporation (Verenium) is an industrial biotechnology company. The Company develops and commercializes enzymes for use in a range of industrial processes. It manufactures and markets its enzyme products in the fields of animal health and nutrition, grain processing, oilfield services and other industrial processes, such as pulp and paper and textiles. As of December 31, 2012, it marketed commercial enzyme products, either independently or in collaboration with its partners. In addition, it has developed a pipeline of enzyme product candidates. Its products are organized into four product lines: animal health and nutrition, grain processing, oilfield services and other industrial processes. As of December 31, 2012, it markets nine commercial enzyme products. In October 2013, BASF SE acquired 71% stake in the Company.

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