Catalyst Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: CPRX) and Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) are both medical companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, valuation, earnings, analyst recommendations, risk, institutional ownership and dividends.

Volatility & Risk

Catalyst Pharmaceuticals has a beta of 1.69, indicating that its share price is 69% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Vertex Pharmaceuticals has a beta of 1.58, indicating that its share price is 58% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

34.8% of Catalyst Pharmaceuticals shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 93.3% of Vertex Pharmaceuticals shares are owned by institutional investors. 9.6% of Catalyst Pharmaceuticals shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.8% of Vertex Pharmaceuticals shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Catalyst Pharmaceuticals and Vertex Pharmaceuticals, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Catalyst Pharmaceuticals 0 0 4 0 3.00
Vertex Pharmaceuticals 0 2 24 0 2.92

Catalyst Pharmaceuticals currently has a consensus target price of $6.25, indicating a potential upside of 50.60%. Vertex Pharmaceuticals has a consensus target price of $172.83, indicating a potential upside of 19.36%. Given Catalyst Pharmaceuticals’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, research analysts clearly believe Catalyst Pharmaceuticals is more favorable than Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Catalyst Pharmaceuticals and Vertex Pharmaceuticals’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Catalyst Pharmaceuticals N/A N/A -$18.07 million ($0.21) -19.76
Vertex Pharmaceuticals $1.70 billion 21.51 -$112.05 million $0.78 185.64

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

Profitability

This table compares Catalyst Pharmaceuticals and Vertex Pharmaceuticals’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Catalyst Pharmaceuticals N/A -48.86% -45.62%
Vertex Pharmaceuticals 8.53% 9.23% 5.01%

Summary

Vertex Pharmaceuticals beats Catalyst Pharmaceuticals on 7 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Catalyst Pharmaceuticals

Catalyst Pharmaceuticals, Inc., formerly Catalyst Pharmaceutical Partners, Inc., is a development-stage biopharmaceutical company. The Company is focused on developing and commercializing therapies for people with rare debilitating diseases. The Company has three drugs in development: Firdapse, CPP-109 and CPP-115. The Company’s Firdapse is indicated for the treatments of lambert-eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS) and congenital myasthenic syndromes (CMS). Firdapse consists of the phosphate salt of amifampridine. The Company has completed the Phase III trial of Firdapse. The Company’s CPP-109 (vigabatrin) is a gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) aminotransferase inhibitor. CPP-109 is indicated for the treatment of Tourette’s Disorder. The Company’s CPP-115 is a GABA aminotransferase inhibitor. CPP-115 is indicated for the treatment of selected neurological indications, such as complex partial seizures and Tourette’s Disorder, and epilepsy.

About Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated is engaged in discovering, developing, manufacturing and commercializing medicines for serious diseases. The Company is focused on developing and commercializing therapies for the treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF) and advancing its research and development programs in other indications. The Company’s marketed medicines are ORKAMBI and KALYDECO. ORKAMBI (lumacaftor in combination with ivacaftor) is approved as a treatment for patients having two copies (homozygous) of the Delta-F508 (F508del) mutation in their cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene. KALYDECO (ivacaftor) is approved for the treatment of CF patients having the G551D mutation or other specified mutations in their CFTR gene. The Company’s development programs in the field of CF include Tezacaftor (VX-661), VX-152, VX-440, VX-659, VX-445 and VX-371. VX-152, VX-440, VX-659 and VX-445 are CFTR corrector compounds.

Receive News & Ratings for Catalyst Pharmaceuticals Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Catalyst Pharmaceuticals and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.