DURECT (NASDAQ:DRRX) and Dynavax Technologies (NASDAQ:DVAX) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, earnings, dividends, risk, profitability, analyst recommendations and institutional ownership.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

45.9% of DURECT shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 84.1% of Dynavax Technologies shares are held by institutional investors. 9.7% of DURECT shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 3.5% of Dynavax Technologies 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.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations for DURECT and Dynavax Technologies, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
DURECT 0 0 1 0 3.00
Dynavax Technologies 0 0 4 0 3.00

DURECT currently has a consensus target price of $3.00, indicating a potential upside of 376.19%. Dynavax Technologies has a consensus target price of $27.00, indicating a potential upside of 281.36%. Given DURECT’s higher possible upside, equities analysts plainly believe DURECT is more favorable than Dynavax Technologies.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares DURECT and Dynavax Technologies’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
DURECT $18.56 million 5.50 -$25.32 million ($0.16) -3.94
Dynavax Technologies $8.20 million 55.26 -$158.90 million ($2.55) -2.78

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


This table compares DURECT and Dynavax Technologies’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
DURECT -136.40% -96.70% -45.23%
Dynavax Technologies -1,938.27% -139.00% -63.15%

Volatility & Risk

DURECT has a beta of 2.16, indicating that its stock price is 116% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Dynavax Technologies has a beta of 0.7, indicating that its stock price is 30% less volatile than the S&P 500.


DURECT beats Dynavax Technologies on 9 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.


DURECT Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company, researches and develops medicines based on its epigenetic regulator and drug delivery programs. The company offers ALZET product line that consists of osmotic pumps and accessories used for experimental research in mice, rats, and other laboratory animals; and a range of biodegradable polymers for use as raw materials in their products for pharmaceutical and medical devices under the LACTEL brand. Its product pipeline consists of multiple investigational drug candidates in clinical development, such as DUR-928, an endogenous, orally bioavailable small molecule that is in Phase II development stage to play a regulatory role in lipid homeostasis, inflammation, and cell survival. The company's advanced oral and injectable delivery technologies are designed to enable new indications and enhanced attributes for small-molecule and biologic drugs, including REMOXY ER, an investigational extended release pain relief drug based on ORADUR technology; and POSIMIR, an investigational analgesic product intended to deliver bupivacaine to provide up to 3 days of pain relief after surgery. DURECT Corporation markets and sells its ALZET and LACTEL product lines through direct sales force in the United States, as well as through a network of distributors in Japan, Europe, and internationally. The company has collaboration agreements with Sandoz AG; Indivior UK Ltd.; Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.; Zogenix, Inc.; and Pain Therapeutics, Inc. DURECT Corporation was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Cupertino, California.

About Dynavax Technologies

Dynavax Technologies Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company, focuses on leveraging the power of the body's innate and adaptive immune responses through toll-like receptor (TLR) stimulation. The company's lead product candidates include HEPLISAV-B, a hepatitis B vaccine for prevention of infection caused by all known subtypes of the virus in adults age 18 years and older; SD-101, a cancer immunotherapy that is in Phase 2 clinical studies; and DV281, an investigational TLR9 agonist for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer. Its product candidates also comprise AZD1419, which is in Phase II clinical trial for the treatment of asthma; DV230F that is in preclinical stage for the treatment of liver tumors; and DV1001, a TLR 7&8 agonist, which is in preclinical stage for oncology. It has collaboration and license agreements with AstraZeneca AB to develop AZD1419 for the treatment of asthma; and Merck & Co. to develop SD-101 for various immuno-oncology therapies. The company was formerly known as Double Helix Corporation and changed its name to Dynavax Technologies Corporation in September 1996. Dynavax Technologies Corporation was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Berkeley, California.

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