SciClone Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SCLN) and Sophiris Bio (NASDAQ:SPHS) are both small-cap healthcare companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their risk, institutional ownership, valuation, profitability, analyst recommendations, earnings and dividends.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for SciClone Pharmaceuticals and Sophiris Bio, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
SciClone Pharmaceuticals 0 1 0 0 2.00
Sophiris Bio 0 0 4 0 3.00

SciClone Pharmaceuticals currently has a consensus target price of $14.00, indicating a potential upside of 25.56%. Sophiris Bio has a consensus target price of $6.25, indicating a potential upside of 181.53%. Given Sophiris Bio’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Sophiris Bio is more favorable than SciClone Pharmaceuticals.

Profitability

This table compares SciClone Pharmaceuticals and Sophiris Bio’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
SciClone Pharmaceuticals 27.39% 20.24% 18.42%
Sophiris Bio N/A -85.20% -38.89%

Insider & Institutional Ownership

72.8% of SciClone Pharmaceuticals shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 5.5% of Sophiris Bio shares are held by institutional investors. 5.2% of SciClone Pharmaceuticals shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 3.9% of Sophiris Bio shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares SciClone Pharmaceuticals and Sophiris Bio’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
SciClone Pharmaceuticals N/A N/A N/A $0.86 12.97
Sophiris Bio N/A N/A -$11.16 million ($0.18) -12.33

Sophiris Bio is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than SciClone Pharmaceuticals, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

SciClone Pharmaceuticals beats Sophiris Bio on 6 of the 9 factors compared between the two stocks.

SciClone Pharmaceuticals Company Profile

SciClone Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a pharmaceutical company. The Company’s product portfolio of therapies includes oncology, infectious diseases and cardiovascular disorders. The Company’s business is focused primarily in the People’s Republic of China. The Company operates in two segments: China and the Rest of the World, including its operations in the United States and Hong Kong. The Company’s lead product ZADAXIN (thymalfasin) is approved in over 30 countries, which is used for the treatment of hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and certain cancers according to the local regulatory approvals, and for use as an immune system enhancer. In addition to ZADAXIN, SciClone markets seven partnered and in-licensed products in China. The Company sells ZADAXIN in various international markets through its subsidiary, SciClone Pharmaceuticals International Ltd. (SPIL). Its development portfolio includes Angiomax, Loramyc, Neucardin, VIBATIV and Cleviprex.

Sophiris Bio Company Profile

Sophiris Bio, Inc., formerly Protox Therapeutics Inc., is a Canada-based biopharmaceutical company focused on the research, development and commercialization of products for the treatment of urological diseases. The Company has operations based in San Diego developing a treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or enlarged prostate). The Company has partnered with Kissei Pharmaceuticals for the development and commercialization of PRX302 in Japan. Sophiris Bio, Inc. is advancing a pipeline of receptor targeted fusion proteins based on three complementary technology platforms: PORxin, INxin and HUMxin. It focuses on diseases of the prostate via its PORxin platform candidate, PRX302, which has completed three clinical trials for the treatment of BPH, as well as two clinical trials for the treatment of localized recurrent prostate cancer.

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