PLx Pharma (NASDAQ: PLXP) and Ascendis Pharma A/S (NASDAQ:ASND) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, profitability, valuation, risk, earnings and dividends.

Risk and Volatility

PLx Pharma has a beta of 1.82, meaning that its share price is 82% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Ascendis Pharma A/S has a beta of 0.7, meaning that its share price is 30% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

21.9% of PLx Pharma shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 78.9% of Ascendis Pharma A/S shares are owned by institutional investors. 47.7% of PLx Pharma shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 40.0% of Ascendis Pharma A/S shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares PLx Pharma and Ascendis Pharma A/S’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
PLx Pharma N/A -154.79% -86.47%
Ascendis Pharma A/S -4,687.42% -64.10% -58.19%

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares PLx Pharma and Ascendis Pharma A/S’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
PLx Pharma N/A N/A -$21.32 million N/A N/A
Ascendis Pharma A/S $5.10 million 263.65 -$75.80 million ($3.64) -10.16

PLx Pharma has higher earnings, but lower revenue than Ascendis Pharma A/S.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for PLx Pharma and Ascendis Pharma A/S, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
PLx Pharma 0 0 1 0 3.00
Ascendis Pharma A/S 0 1 6 0 2.86

Ascendis Pharma A/S has a consensus target price of $36.45, indicating a potential downside of 1.40%. Given Ascendis Pharma A/S’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Ascendis Pharma A/S is more favorable than PLx Pharma.

Summary

Ascendis Pharma A/S beats PLx Pharma on 6 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

PLx Pharma Company Profile

PLx Pharma Inc., formerly Dipexium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company is a late stage specialty pharmaceutical company focusing on commercializing its lead products: Aspertec 325 mg and Aspertec 81 mg (Aspertec). The Company’s products and technology includes PLxGuard delivery system, Aspertec 325 mg, PL1100/PL1200 Ibuprofen. PLxGuard delivery system uses surface acting lipids, such as phospholipids and free fatty acids, to modify the physiochemical properties of various drugs to selectively release these drugs to targeted portions of the GI tract. The Company’s lead product Aspertec 325 mg is a liquid-fill aspirin capsule for prevention of cardiovascular disease. Through PLxGuard delivery system the Company creates a lipid-based formulation of ibuprofen, PL1200 Ibuprofen Capsules, 200 mg.

Ascendis Pharma A/S Company Profile

Ascendis Pharma A/S is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in applying its TransCon technology to develop sustained release prodrug therapies with several product candidates in clinical and preclinical development. The Company is developing its product candidate, TransCon human growth hormone (TransCon hGH) for once-weekly administration to treat growth hormone deficiency (GHD) and other indications. In addition to TransCon hGH, the Company has developed a pipeline of long-acting prodrug product candidates, such as TransCon Treprostinil for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), TransCon Peptides for the treatment of diabetes and TransCon Ranibizumab for the treatment of ophthalmology. It is also using its TransCon technology platform to develop TransCon Parathyroid Hormone (TransCon PTH) for hypoparathyroidism, a rare endocrine disorder of calcium and phosphate metabolism.

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