Allena Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALNA) and Vical (NASDAQ:VICL) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their risk, institutional ownership, profitability, earnings, dividends, valuation and analyst recommendations.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for Allena Pharmaceuticals and Vical, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Allena Pharmaceuticals 0 0 8 0 3.00
Vical 0 2 0 0 2.00

Allena Pharmaceuticals presently has a consensus price target of $29.71, indicating a potential upside of 308.16%. Vical has a consensus price target of $4.00, indicating a potential upside of 238.98%. Given Allena Pharmaceuticals’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, research analysts plainly believe Allena Pharmaceuticals is more favorable than Vical.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

84.5% of Allena Pharmaceuticals shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 46.7% of Vical shares are owned by institutional investors. 36.7% of Allena Pharmaceuticals shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 4.6% of Vical shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Volatility and Risk

Allena Pharmaceuticals has a beta of 1.89, meaning that its stock price is 89% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Vical has a beta of 0.53, meaning that its stock price is 47% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Allena Pharmaceuticals and Vical’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Allena Pharmaceuticals N/A -56.89% -46.56%
Vical -1,002.10% -33.58% -31.59%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Allena Pharmaceuticals and Vical’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Allena Pharmaceuticals N/A N/A -$35.65 million ($1.72) -4.23
Vical $1.62 million 15.89 -$16.25 million ($0.81) -1.46

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

Summary

Allena Pharmaceuticals beats Vical on 7 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Allena Pharmaceuticals

Allena Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a late-stage clinical biopharmaceutical company, engages in the development and commercialization of oral enzyme therapeutics to treat patients with rare and severe metabolic, and kidney disorders in the United States and internationally. The company's lead product candidate is ALLN-177, an oral enzyme therapeutic for the treatment of enteric hyperoxaluria, a metabolic disorder commonly associated with kidney stones in adults. It also develops ALLN-346 for patients with hyperuricemia and moderate to severe chronic kidney diseases. The company was incorporated in 2011 and is headquartered in Newton, Massachusetts.

About Vical

Vical Incorporated engages in the research and development of biopharmaceutical products based on its DNA delivery technologies for the prevention and treatment of serious or life-threatening diseases. The company is developing VCL-HB01, an HSV-2 therapeutic vaccine that is in Phase II clinical trial to prevent and protect against lesion recurrence, as well as for the treatment of patients with symptomatic genital herpes infection; VL-2397 antifungal program, which is in Phase II clinical trial for the treatment of invasive fungal infections; and chronic hepatitis B that is in preclinical stage for the eradication of persistent HBV infection. Vical Incorporated has a license agreement with Astellas Pharma Inc. to develop and commercialize VL-2397 antifungal candidate. The company was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in San Diego, California.

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