Adverum Biotechnologies (NASDAQ:ADVM) and Vical (NASDAQ:VICL) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, dividends, risk, institutional ownership, profitability, analyst recommendations and valuation.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Adverum Biotechnologies and Vical, as reported by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Adverum Biotechnologies 0 1 4 0 2.80
Vical 0 0 1 0 3.00

Adverum Biotechnologies presently has a consensus target price of $9.80, suggesting a potential upside of 63.33%. Vical has a consensus target price of $4.00, suggesting a potential upside of 177.78%. Given Vical’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Vical is more favorable than Adverum Biotechnologies.

Volatility & Risk

Adverum Biotechnologies has a beta of 3.77, indicating that its share price is 277% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Vical has a beta of 0.63, indicating that its share price is 37% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

58.5% of Adverum Biotechnologies shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 45.8% of Vical shares are held by institutional investors. 5.0% of Adverum Biotechnologies shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 4.6% of Vical shares are held by 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 Adverum Biotechnologies and Vical’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Adverum Biotechnologies -3,957.63% -30.61% -28.60%
Vical -207.71% -33.70% -28.93%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Adverum Biotechnologies and Vical’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Adverum Biotechnologies $1.85 million 203.32 -$56.14 million ($1.29) -4.65
Vical $13.82 million 2.27 -$12.96 million ($1.01) -1.43

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

Adverum Biotechnologies Company Profile

Adverum Biotechnologies, Inc., a clinical-stage gene therapy company, engages in developing gene therapy product candidates that target serious rare and ocular diseases. It leverages its adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based directed evolution platform to develop products. The company's pipeline of product candidates include ADVM-043 to treat alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, which is in Phase I/II clinical trial; and ADVM-053 for hereditary angioedema disease, which is in preclinical stage; as well as ADVM-022 and ADVM-032 for wet age-related macular degeneration disease, which are in preclinical stage. It has collaboration agreement with Editas Medicine, Inc. to leverage its proprietary AAV vectors for genome editing technologies to treat up to five inherited retinal diseases; and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for the development of up to eight distinct ocular therapeutic targets, as well as includes AVA-311 for the treatment of juvenile X-Linked Retinoschisis. The company was formerly known as Avalanche Biotechnologies, Inc. and changed its name to Adverum Biotechnologies, Inc. in May 2016. Adverum Biotechnologies, Inc. was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Menlo Park, California.

Vical Company Profile

Vical Incorporated engages in the research and development of biopharmaceutical products based on its DNA delivery technologies for the prevention and treatment of serious or life-threatening diseases. The company is developing VCL-HB01, an HSV-2 therapeutic vaccine that is in Phase II clinical trial to prevent and protect against lesion recurrence, as well as for the treatment of patients with symptomatic genital herpes infection; VL-2397 antifungal program, which is in Phase II clinical trial for the treatment of invasive fungal infections; and chronic hepatitis B that is in preclinical stage for the eradication of persistent HBV infection. Vical Incorporated has a license agreement with Astellas Pharma Inc. to develop and commercialize VL-2397 antifungal candidate. The company was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in San Diego, California.

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