Aquinox Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AQXP) and BioLife Solutions (NASDAQ:BLFS) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, risk, earnings, profitability, institutional ownership, dividends and analyst recommendations.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings for Aquinox Pharmaceuticals and BioLife Solutions, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Aquinox Pharmaceuticals 0 0 3 0 3.00
BioLife Solutions 0 0 2 0 3.00

Aquinox Pharmaceuticals currently has a consensus price target of $25.00, indicating a potential upside of 121.04%. BioLife Solutions has a consensus price target of $6.50, indicating a potential upside of 12.26%. Given Aquinox Pharmaceuticals’ higher probable upside, research analysts plainly believe Aquinox Pharmaceuticals is more favorable than BioLife Solutions.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

96.3% of Aquinox Pharmaceuticals shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 9.4% of BioLife Solutions shares are held by institutional investors. 2.7% of Aquinox Pharmaceuticals shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 36.8% of BioLife Solutions shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Aquinox Pharmaceuticals and BioLife Solutions’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Aquinox Pharmaceuticals N/A N/A -$37.00 million ($1.93) -5.86
BioLife Solutions $8.23 million 9.59 -$6.87 million ($0.42) -13.79

BioLife Solutions has higher revenue and earnings than Aquinox Pharmaceuticals. BioLife Solutions is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Aquinox Pharmaceuticals, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Aquinox Pharmaceuticals and BioLife Solutions’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Aquinox Pharmaceuticals N/A -34.72% -32.69%
BioLife Solutions -52.10% -49.92% -29.47%

Volatility and Risk

Aquinox Pharmaceuticals has a beta of -16.96, meaning that its share price is 1,796% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, BioLife Solutions has a beta of 0.29, meaning that its share price is 71% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

BioLife Solutions beats Aquinox Pharmaceuticals on 6 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Aquinox Pharmaceuticals

Aquinox Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company discovering and developing targeted therapeutics in disease areas of inflammation and immuno-oncology. The Company’s primary focus is anti-inflammatory product candidates targeting the Src Homology 2 (SH2)-containing inositol-5-phosphatase 1 (SHIP1) enzyme, which is a regulator of a cellular signaling pathway in immune cells, known as the phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway. Its product candidate, AQX-1125, is a small molecule activator of SHIP1 suitable for oral, once daily dosing. The Company is developing AQX-1125 as a treatment in interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS), a chronic inflammatory disease of the bladder. AQX-1125 is a SHIP1 activator that has demonstrated preliminary safety, anti-inflammatory potential and drug properties in multiple preclinical studies.

About BioLife Solutions

BioLife Solutions, Inc. (BioLife) is engaged in the developing, manufacturing and marketing a portfolio of biopreservation tools and services for cells, tissues and organs, including clinical grade cell and tissue hypothermic storage and cryopreservation freeze media and a related cloud hosted biologistics cold chain management application for shippers. The Company’s product offerings include hypothermic storage and cryopreservation freeze media products for cells, tissues, and organs; generic blood stem cell freezing and cell thawing media products; custom product formulation and custom packaging services; cold chain logistics services incorporating precision thermal packaging products and cloud-hosted Web applications, and contract aseptic manufacturing formulation, fill and finish services of liquid media products. Its products include HypoThermosol FRS, CryoStor, BloodStor, Cell Thawing Media, PrepaStor and biologistex cold-chain management service.

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