Acura Pharmaceuticals (OTCMKTS: ACUR) and Avadel Pharmaceuticals PLC. (NASDAQ:AVDL) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, valuation, institutional ownership, risk, profitability, dividends and analyst recommendations.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations for Acura Pharmaceuticals and Avadel Pharmaceuticals PLC., as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Acura Pharmaceuticals 0 0 0 0 N/A
Avadel Pharmaceuticals PLC. 0 0 2 0 3.00

Avadel Pharmaceuticals PLC. has a consensus target price of $25.00, indicating a potential upside of 171.74%. Given Avadel Pharmaceuticals PLC.’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Avadel Pharmaceuticals PLC. is more favorable than Acura Pharmaceuticals.

Profitability

This table compares Acura Pharmaceuticals and Avadel Pharmaceuticals PLC.’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Acura Pharmaceuticals -36.20% -231.18% -31.56%
Avadel Pharmaceuticals PLC. 44.47% 33.92% 8.94%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

9.4% of Acura Pharmaceuticals shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 69.8% of Avadel Pharmaceuticals PLC. shares are held by institutional investors. 5.6% of Acura Pharmaceuticals shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 5.1% of Avadel Pharmaceuticals PLC. shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Acura Pharmaceuticals and Avadel Pharmaceuticals PLC.’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Acura Pharmaceuticals $4.46 million 1.97 -$7.38 million ($0.14) -3.01
Avadel Pharmaceuticals PLC. $150.25 million 2.45 -$41.27 million $1.90 4.84

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

Volatility and Risk

Acura Pharmaceuticals has a beta of 2, indicating that its share price is 100% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Avadel Pharmaceuticals PLC. has a beta of 1.41, indicating that its share price is 41% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Avadel Pharmaceuticals PLC. beats Acura Pharmaceuticals on 9 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Acura Pharmaceuticals

Acura Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a pharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in the research, development and commercialization of technologies and products intended to address medication abuse and misuse. The Company has discovered and developed three platform technologies, which can be used to develop multiple products. The Company’s Oxaydo Tablets (oxycodone HCl, CII), which utilizes the Aversion Technology, is an approved and immediate-release (IR) oxycodone product in the United States. The Company’s Impede technology products include Nexafed and Nexafed Sinus Pressure + Pain. Its third deterrent technology is Limitx, which is designed to retard the release of active drug ingredients when too many tablets are accidently or purposefully ingested. The Company’s Aversion and Limitx technologies are intended to address methods associated with opioid and its Impede technology is directed at the extraction and conversion of pseudoephedrine into methamphetamine.

About Avadel Pharmaceuticals PLC.

Avadel Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ: AVDL) is a specialty pharmaceutical company that seeks to commercialize differentiated pharmaceutical products that are safe, effective and easy to take through formulation development, by utilizing its proprietary drug delivery technology and in-licensing / acquiring new products; ultimately, helping patients adhere to their prescribed medical treatment and see better results. The Company is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland with operations in St. Louis, Missouri and Lyon, France.

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