VIVUS (NASDAQ: VVUS) and Syndax Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SNDX) are both small-cap healthcare companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, risk, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, dividends, valuation and profitability.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current recommendations for VIVUS and Syndax Pharmaceuticals, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
VIVUS 0 0 0 0 N/A
Syndax Pharmaceuticals 0 0 8 0 3.00

Syndax Pharmaceuticals has a consensus price target of $26.43, indicating a potential upside of 182.96%. Given Syndax Pharmaceuticals’ higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Syndax Pharmaceuticals is more favorable than VIVUS.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares VIVUS and Syndax Pharmaceuticals’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
VIVUS $124.26 million 0.43 $23.30 million $0.33 1.52
Syndax Pharmaceuticals $1.22 million 186.72 -$44.47 million ($2.83) -3.30

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

Profitability

This table compares VIVUS and Syndax Pharmaceuticals’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
VIVUS 26.71% 344.23% 12.56%
Syndax Pharmaceuticals -4,304.34% -57.90% -45.09%

Insider & Institutional Ownership

31.3% of VIVUS shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 61.7% of Syndax Pharmaceuticals shares are held by institutional investors. 4.4% of VIVUS shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 24.1% of Syndax Pharmaceuticals shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

VIVUS beats Syndax Pharmaceuticals on 7 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

VIVUS Company Profile

VIVUS, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company operates in the development and commercialization of therapeutic products segment. It provides over two therapies approved by the Food and Drug Association (FDA), which include Qsymia (phentermine and topiramate extended-release) for chronic weight management and STENDRA (avanafil) for erectile dysfunction (ED). The Company has completed the Phase II studies of Qsymia for the indication of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and diabetes. Its Qsymia is available in over 40,000 certified retail pharmacies across the country. Its STENDRA is also approved by the European Commission (EC), under the name, SPEDRA, for the treatment of ED in the Europe. The United States Food and Drug Association approved a Supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for STENDRA. STENDRA is indicated to be taken approximately 15 minutes before sexual activity.

Syndax Pharmaceuticals Company Profile

Syndax Pharmaceuticals, Inc (Syndax) is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing a pipeline of combination therapies in multiple cancer indications. The Company’s product candidate, entinostat, which was granted Breakthrough Therapy designation by the FDA following positive results from its Phase IIb clinical trial, ENCORE 301, is being evaluated in a Phase III clinical trial for advanced hormone receptor positive breast cancer. It is developing entinostat, which has direct effects on both cancer cells and immune regulatory cells, and SNDX-6352, an anti-CSF-1R monoclonal antibody, to enhance the body’s immune response on tumors that have shown sensitivity to immunotherapy. Entinostat is being evaluated as a combination therapeutic in Phase Ib/II clinical trials with Merck & Co., Inc. for non-small cell lung cancer and melanoma, with Genentech, Inc. for TNBC, and with Pfizer Inc. and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, for ovarian cancer.

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