PAREXEL International Corporation (NASDAQ: PRXL) and Exact Sciences Corporation (NASDAQ:EXAS) are both mid-cap medical companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, risk, valuation, institutional ownership, profitability, dividends and analyst recommendations.

Profitability

This table compares PAREXEL International Corporation and Exact Sciences Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
PAREXEL International Corporation 4.49% 28.98% 7.94%
Exact Sciences Corporation -83.08% -36.36% -32.85%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares PAREXEL International Corporation and Exact Sciences Corporation’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
PAREXEL International Corporation $2.12 billion 2.12 $340.10 million $2.09 42.14
Exact Sciences Corporation $169.37 million 33.13 -$129.74 million ($1.29) -36.53

PAREXEL International Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Exact Sciences Corporation. Exact Sciences Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than PAREXEL International Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

87.5% of PAREXEL International Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 85.2% of Exact Sciences Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.9% of PAREXEL International Corporation shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 4.0% of Exact Sciences Corporation shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Risk and Volatility

PAREXEL International Corporation has a beta of 0.79, indicating that its stock price is 21% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Exact Sciences Corporation has a beta of 0.75, indicating that its stock price is 25% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations for PAREXEL International Corporation and Exact Sciences Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
PAREXEL International Corporation 1 9 2 0 2.08
Exact Sciences Corporation 0 3 10 0 2.77

PAREXEL International Corporation currently has a consensus target price of $73.71, indicating a potential downside of 16.31%. Exact Sciences Corporation has a consensus target price of $41.69, indicating a potential downside of 11.52%. Given Exact Sciences Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Exact Sciences Corporation is more favorable than PAREXEL International Corporation.

Summary

PAREXEL International Corporation beats Exact Sciences Corporation on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

PAREXEL International Corporation Company Profile

PAREXEL International Corporation (PAREXEL) is a biopharmaceutical outsourcing services company. The Company provides a range of expertise in clinical research, clinical logistics, medical communications, consulting, commercialization, and technology products and services to pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries. Its segments include Clinical Research Services (CRS), PAREXEL Consulting Services (PC) and PAREXEL Informatics (PI). The CRS segment includes various phases of clinical research from first-in-man trials, where a medicinal entity is tested on human subjects for the first time, through post-marketing studies, following approval by the presiding regulatory body. The PC segment provides technical expertise and advice in areas, such as strategy, drug development, regulatory affairs, strategic compliance and targeted communications services in support of product launch. The Company’s PI segment provides information technology solutions.

Exact Sciences Corporation Company Profile

Exact Sciences Corporation is a molecular diagnostics company. The Company focuses on the early detection and prevention of some forms of cancer. It offers a non-invasive screening test called Cologuard for the early detection of colorectal cancer and pre-cancer. Its Cologuard test is a stool-based deoxyribonucleic acid (sDNA) screening test, which utilizes a multi-target approach to detect deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and hemoglobin biomarkers associated with colorectal cancer and pre-cancer. The Cologuard test is intended for the qualitative detection of colorectal neoplasia associated DNA markers and for the presence of occult hemoglobin in human stool. It focuses on the development of additional tests for other types of cancer. It is developing a blood-based biomarker test to aid in the early detection of lung cancer in individuals with lung nodules discovered through a computerized tomography (CT) or other scan.

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