West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE: WST) and Palomar Medical Technologies (NASDAQ:PMTI) are both medical companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, analyst recommendations, dividends, profitability, valuation, institutional ownership and earnings.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares West Pharmaceutical Services and Palomar Medical Technologies’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
West Pharmaceutical Services $1.51 billion 4.85 $143.60 million $2.51 39.29
Palomar Medical Technologies N/A N/A N/A ($0.27) -49.67

West Pharmaceutical Services has higher revenue and earnings than Palomar Medical Technologies. Palomar Medical Technologies is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than West Pharmaceutical Services, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility and Risk

West Pharmaceutical Services has a beta of 1.11, indicating that its stock price is 11% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Palomar Medical Technologies has a beta of 1.42, indicating that its stock price is 42% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and target prices for West Pharmaceutical Services and Palomar Medical Technologies, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
West Pharmaceutical Services 0 2 3 0 2.60
Palomar Medical Technologies 0 0 0 0 N/A

West Pharmaceutical Services currently has a consensus target price of $106.00, suggesting a potential upside of 7.49%. Given West Pharmaceutical Services’ higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe West Pharmaceutical Services is more favorable than Palomar Medical Technologies.

Profitability

This table compares West Pharmaceutical Services and Palomar Medical Technologies’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
West Pharmaceutical Services 12.12% 14.47% 9.71%
Palomar Medical Technologies N/A N/A N/A

Institutional & Insider Ownership

93.3% of West Pharmaceutical Services shares are held by institutional investors. 1.9% of West Pharmaceutical Services shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

West Pharmaceutical Services pays an annual dividend of $0.56 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.6%. Palomar Medical Technologies does not pay a dividend. West Pharmaceutical Services pays out 22.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. West Pharmaceutical Services has raised its dividend for 24 consecutive years.

Summary

West Pharmaceutical Services beats Palomar Medical Technologies on 11 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About West Pharmaceutical Services

West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. is a manufacturer of packaging components and delivery systems for injectable drugs and healthcare products. The Company’s products include vial containment solutions, prefillable systems, self-injection platforms, cartridge systems and components, reconstitution and transfer systems, intradermal delivery solutions, specialty components, and contract manufacturing and analytical services. The Company’s segments include Proprietary Products and Contract-Manufactured Products. The Proprietary Products segment develops commercial and operational strategies across its global network, with specific emphasis on product offerings to biologic, generic and pharmaceutical drug customers. The Contract-Manufactured Products segment serves as an integrated business focused on the design, manufacture and automated assembly of various devices, primarily for pharmaceutical, diagnostic and medical device customers.

About Palomar Medical Technologies

Palomar Medical Technologies, Inc. (Palomar) is a researcher and developer of aesthetic light-based systems for hair removal and other cosmetic procedures, including both lasers and high powered lamps. The Company offers a range of products based on technologies that include, but are not limited to: hair removal; body sculpting, including laser-assisted liposuction; removal of vascular lesions, such as rosacea, spider veins, port wine stains and hemangiomas; wrinkle reduction; removal of leg veins; removal of benign pigmented lesions, such as age and sun spots, freckles and melasma; tattoo removal; acne treatment; skin resurfacing, pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB) treatment; treatment of red pigmentation in hypertrophic and keloid scars; treatment of verrucae, skin tags and seborrheic keratosis; skin tightening through soft tissue coagulation; scars, and other skin treatments. In June 2013, Cynosure Inc announced the completion of its acquisition of Palomar Medical Technologies Inc.

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