Cleveland BioLabs (NASDAQ: CBLI) and Agenus (NASDAQ:AGEN) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, valuation, profitability, earnings and risk.

Risk and Volatility

Cleveland BioLabs has a beta of -0.35, suggesting that its stock price is 135% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Agenus has a beta of 2.11, suggesting that its stock price is 111% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Cleveland BioLabs and Agenus’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Cleveland BioLabs $3.52 million 12.85 -$2.65 million ($0.87) -4.61
Agenus $22.57 million 14.47 -$126.99 million ($1.17) -2.79

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

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for Cleveland BioLabs and Agenus, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Cleveland BioLabs 0 0 0 0 N/A
Agenus 0 1 2 0 2.67

Agenus has a consensus target price of $6.33, suggesting a potential upside of 94.27%. Given Agenus’ higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Agenus is more favorable than Cleveland BioLabs.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

3.9% of Cleveland BioLabs shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 37.9% of Agenus shares are held by institutional investors. 2.4% of Cleveland BioLabs shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 7.9% of Agenus shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.


This table compares Cleveland BioLabs and Agenus’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Cleveland BioLabs -472.44% -91.87% -73.83%
Agenus -278.76% N/A -65.18%


Agenus beats Cleveland BioLabs on 11 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Cleveland BioLabs Company Profile

Cleveland BioLabs, Inc. (CBLI) is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in developing approaches to activate the immune system and address serious medical needs. Its platform of Toll-like immune receptor activators has applications in mitigation of radiation injury and immuno-oncology. Its advanced product candidate is Entolimod, an immuno-stimulatory agent, which it is developing as a radiation countermeasure and an immunotherapy for oncology and other indications. Its other products include CBLB612, Mobilan and CBL0137. CBLB612 is a compound based upon a natural activator of another tissue-specific component of the innate immune system, the toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2)/ toll-like receptor 6 (TLR6) heterodimeric receptor. Mobilan is a recombinant non-replicating adenovirus that directs expression of TLR5 and its agonistic ligand. CBL0137 is a small molecule with a multi-targeted mechanism of action that may be useful for the treatment of various types of cancer.

Agenus Company Profile

Agenus Inc. (Agenus) is an immuno-oncology (I-O) company. The Company focuses on the discovery and development of therapies that engage the body’s immune system to fight cancer. It is developing a I-O portfolio driven by platforms and programs, such as antibody discovery platforms, including Retrocyte Display, SECANT yeast display and phage display technologies designed to produce human antibodies; antibody candidate programs, including checkpoint modulator (CPM) programs; vaccine programs, including Prophage, AutoSynVax and PhosPhoSynVax, and saponin-based vaccine adjuvants, principally QS-21 Stimulon adjuvant (QS-21 Stimulon). The Company’s discovery pipeline includes a range of checkpoint modulating (CPM) antibodies. The Company’s vaccine platforms include its heat shock protein (HSP)-based Prophage vaccine candidates, and its synthetic vaccine candidates, ASV and PSV.

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