Head to Head Survey: Horizon Pharma (HZNP) & Akorn (AKRX)

Horizon Pharma (NASDAQ: HZNP) and Akorn (NASDAQ:AKRX) are both mid-cap medical companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, dividends, valuation, profitability, risk, analyst recommendations and institutional ownership.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for Horizon Pharma and Akorn, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Horizon Pharma 0 2 9 0 2.82
Akorn 0 8 1 0 2.11

Horizon Pharma currently has a consensus price target of $18.64, suggesting a potential upside of 24.24%. Akorn has a consensus price target of $31.83, suggesting a potential downside of 1.63%. Given Horizon Pharma’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Horizon Pharma is more favorable than Akorn.


This table compares Horizon Pharma and Akorn’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Horizon Pharma -45.28% 20.22% 5.35%
Akorn 7.79% 15.14% 6.51%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Horizon Pharma and Akorn’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Horizon Pharma $981.12 million 2.51 -$166.83 million ($3.05) -4.92
Akorn $1.12 billion 3.62 $184.24 million $0.99 32.69

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

Institutional and Insider Ownership

86.6% of Horizon Pharma shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 73.5% of Akorn shares are held by institutional investors. 3.2% of Horizon Pharma shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 28.2% of Akorn shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Volatility & Risk

Horizon Pharma has a beta of 1.31, meaning that its share price is 31% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Akorn has a beta of 1.33, meaning that its share price is 33% more volatile than the S&P 500.


Akorn beats Horizon Pharma on 9 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Horizon Pharma

Horizon Pharma Public Limited Company is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company is focused on identifying, developing, acquiring and commercializing differentiated and accessible medicines that address unmet medical needs. As of December 31, 2016, the Company marketed 11 medicines through its orphan, rheumatology and primary care business units. The Company’s marketed medicines are ACTIMMUNE (interferon gamma-1b), BUPHENYL (sodium phenylbutyrate) Tablets and Powder, DUEXIS (ibuprofen/famotidine), KRYSTEXXA (pegloticase), MIGERGOT (ergotamine tartrate & caffeine suppositories), PENNSAID (diclofenac sodium topical solution) 2% weight per weight (w/w), or PENNSAID 2%, PROCYSBI (cysteamine bitartrate) delayed-release capsules, QUINSAIR (aerosolized form of levofloxacin), RAVICTI (glycerol phenylbutyrate) Oral Liquid, RAYOS (prednisone) delayed-release tablets and VIMOVO (naproxen/esomeprazole magnesium).

About Akorn

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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