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

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings for Agenus and Arsanis, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Agenus 0 0 0 0 N/A
Arsanis 0 3 1 0 2.25

Arsanis has a consensus price target of $18.50, indicating a potential upside of 905.43%. Given Arsanis’ higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Arsanis is more favorable than Agenus.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

45.5% of Agenus shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 71.6% of Arsanis shares are held by institutional investors. 6.4% of Agenus shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 50.9% of Arsanis shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Agenus -281.49% N/A -102.16%
Arsanis N/A N/A N/A

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Agenus and Arsanis’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Agenus $42.88 million 4.20 -$120.69 million ($1.23) -1.29
Arsanis N/A N/A -$33.87 million ($16.23) -0.11

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

Summary

Arsanis beats Agenus on 8 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

Agenus Company Profile

Agenus Inc., a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company, focuses on the discovery and development of therapies that engage the body's immune system to fight cancer. The company offers Retrocyte Display, an antibody discovery platform for the identification of fully-human and humanized monoclonal antibodies; SECANT yeast display, an antibody discovery platform used for the generation of novel monoclonal antibodies; and phage display technologies. It is also developing checkpoint modulating antibody candidates targeting GITR, OX40, TIM-3, LAG-3, and others. In addition, the company develops vaccine programs, including Prophage cancer vaccine candidate; AutoSynVax, a synthetic neo-antigen; and PhosPhoSynVax, a vaccine candidate designed to induce immunity against a class of tumor specific neo-epitopes. Further, it develops QS-21 Stimulon adjuvant, a saponin-based vaccine adjuvant. Additionally, the company engages in the development of CTLA-4 and PD-1 antagonists; and anti-CTLA-4, CD137, and anti-TIGIT antibodies, as well as various multi-specific antibodies that are under various stages of development. Agenus Inc. has collaboration agreements with Incyte Corporation, Merck Sharpe & Dohme, and Recepta Biopharma SA. The company was formerly known as Antigenics Inc. and changed its name to Agenus Inc. in January 2011. Agenus Inc. was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Arsanis Company Profile

Arsanis, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, focuses on applying monoclonal antibody (mAb) immunotherapies to address infectious diseases. Its lead product candidate is ASN100, a mAb therapeutic in Phase II clinical development for the prevention of staphylococcus aureus pneumonia in mechanically ventilated patients. The company's preclinical pipeline comprises mAbs targeting various bacterial and viral pathogens, including respiratory syncytial virus. Arsanis, Inc. was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts.

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