Flexion Therapeutics (NASDAQ: FLXN) and Geron Corporation (NASDAQ:GERN) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, valuation, risk, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, earnings and profitability.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for Flexion Therapeutics and Geron Corporation, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Flexion Therapeutics 0 1 7 1 3.00
Geron Corporation 0 2 2 0 2.50

Flexion Therapeutics presently has a consensus price target of $88.50, indicating a potential upside of 291.43%. Geron Corporation has a consensus price target of $4.17, indicating a potential upside of 102.27%. Given Flexion Therapeutics’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, research analysts clearly believe Flexion Therapeutics is more favorable than Geron Corporation.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Flexion Therapeutics and Geron Corporation’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Flexion Therapeutics N/A N/A -$71.89 million ($3.09) -7.32
Geron Corporation $6.16 million 53.25 -$29.53 million ($0.18) -11.44

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

Volatility & Risk

Flexion Therapeutics has a beta of 1.07, meaning that its share price is 7% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Geron Corporation has a beta of 2.63, meaning that its share price is 163% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

72.3% of Flexion Therapeutics shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 38.8% of Geron Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. 16.0% of Flexion Therapeutics shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 7.1% of Geron Corporation shares are held by 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 Flexion Therapeutics and Geron Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Flexion Therapeutics N/A -53.94% -38.24%
Geron Corporation -2,992.67% -25.14% -23.29%

Summary

Flexion Therapeutics beats Geron Corporation on 7 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Flexion Therapeutics

Flexion Therapeutics, Inc. is a United States-based specialty pharmaceutical company. The Company is focused on the development and commercialization of local therapies for the treatment of patients with musculoskeletal conditions, beginning with osteoarthritis (OA), a type of degenerative arthritis. The Company’s lead product candidate, Zilretta, is a late-stage, injectable, extended-release, intra-articular (IA) investigational steroid. The Company is developing Zilretta as a treatment for patients with moderate to severe OA knee pain. The Company has specifically designed Zilretta to combine a steroid, triamcinolone acetonide (TCA) with poly lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA), for providing sustained therapeutic concentrations in the joint and persistent analgesic effect. The Company’s other product candidates include FX007 for post-operative pain and FX005 for the treatment of end-stage OA patients. The Company is engaged in conducting a Phase IIb clinical trial of Zilretta.

About Geron Corporation

Geron Corporation (Geron) is a biopharmaceutical company, which supports the clinical stage development of a telomerase inhibitor, Imetelstat, in hematologic myeloid malignancies by Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen). The Company is engaged in the development of therapeutic products for oncology. Using its nucleic acid chemistry, Geron designed Imetelstat to be an oligonucleotide that binds with high affinity to the ribonucleic acid (RNA) template of telomerase, thereby directly inhibiting telomerase activity. Janssen is engaged in the development of Imetelstat with two clinical trials, such as a Phase II trial in myelofibrosis (MF), referred to as IMbark, and a Phase II/III trial in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) referred to as IMerge. Imetelstat is a lipid conjugated 13-mer oligonucleotide that is designed to be complementary to and bind with high affinity to the RNA template of telomerase, thereby directly inhibiting telomerase activity.

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