Pacific Biosciences of California (NASDAQ: PACB) and Agilent Technologies (NYSE:A) are both medical companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their risk, dividends, profitability, valuation, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership and earnings.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Pacific Biosciences of California and Agilent Technologies, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Pacific Biosciences of California 0 2 1 0 2.33
Agilent Technologies 0 3 10 0 2.77

Pacific Biosciences of California presently has a consensus target price of $6.27, suggesting a potential upside of 136.48%. Agilent Technologies has a consensus target price of $69.90, suggesting a potential downside of 3.09%. Given Pacific Biosciences of California’s higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Pacific Biosciences of California is more favorable than Agilent Technologies.

Profitability

This table compares Pacific Biosciences of California and Agilent Technologies’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Pacific Biosciences of California -95.97% -97.50% -59.40%
Agilent Technologies 15.30% 16.95% 9.43%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Pacific Biosciences of California and Agilent Technologies’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Pacific Biosciences of California $90.71 million 3.40 -$74.37 million ($0.92) -2.88
Agilent Technologies $4.47 billion 5.21 $684.00 million $2.09 34.51

Agilent Technologies has higher revenue and earnings than Pacific Biosciences of California. Pacific Biosciences of California is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Agilent Technologies, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Dividends

Agilent Technologies pays an annual dividend of $0.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.8%. Pacific Biosciences of California does not pay a dividend. Agilent Technologies pays out 28.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Pacific Biosciences of California has increased its dividend for 2 consecutive years.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

70.5% of Pacific Biosciences of California shares are held by institutional investors. 17.8% of Pacific Biosciences of California shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility & Risk

Pacific Biosciences of California has a beta of 1.76, suggesting that its stock price is 76% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Agilent Technologies has a beta of 1.28, suggesting that its stock price is 28% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Agilent Technologies beats Pacific Biosciences of California on 11 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Pacific Biosciences of California

Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. designs, develops and manufactures sequencing systems to help scientists resolve genetically complex problems. The Company is engaged in the development, manufacturing and marketing of an integrated platform for genetic analysis. Its Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) technology enables single molecule, real-time detection of biological processes. It offers The SMRT Cell, Phospholinked nucleotides and The PacBio RS II and Sequel instruments. Its SMRT technology enables the observation of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) synthesis as it occurs in real-time by harnessing the natural process of DNA replication, which is actuated by the DNA polymerase. Its phospholinked nucleotides have a fluorescent dye attached to the phosphate chain of the nucleotide rather than to the base. The PacBio RS II and Sequel instruments include optics, automated liquid handling, a touchscreen control interface and computational hardware and software.

About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies, Inc. provides application focused solutions that include instruments, software, services and consumables for the entire laboratory workflow. The Company serves the life sciences, diagnostics and applied chemical markets. It has three business segments: life sciences and applied markets business, diagnostics and genomics business, and Agilent CrossLab business. Its life sciences and applied markets business segment offers instruments and software that enable customers to identify, quantify and analyze the physical and biological properties of substances and products, as well as enable customers in the clinical and life sciences research areas to interrogate samples at the molecular level. Its diagnostics and genomics business segment includes the reagent partnership, pathology, companion diagnostics, genomics and the nucleic acid solutions businesses. Its Agilent CrossLab business segment spans the entire lab with its consumables and services portfolio.

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