bluebird bio (NASDAQ: BLUE) and Lipocine (NASDAQ:LPCN) are both medical companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, dividends, institutional ownership, risk, valuation, earnings and analyst recommendations.

Risk & Volatility

bluebird bio has a beta of 2.04, suggesting that its stock price is 104% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Lipocine has a beta of 2.01, suggesting that its stock price is 101% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

26.4% of Lipocine shares are held by institutional investors. 3.9% of bluebird bio shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 11.3% of Lipocine shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for bluebird bio and Lipocine, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
bluebird bio 2 6 13 0 2.52
Lipocine 0 0 3 0 3.00

bluebird bio presently has a consensus target price of $109.17, indicating a potential downside of 20.52%. Lipocine has a consensus target price of $24.67, indicating a potential upside of 521.33%. Given Lipocine’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Lipocine is more favorable than bluebird bio.

Profitability

This table compares bluebird bio and Lipocine’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
bluebird bio -1,080.59% -32.19% -25.23%
Lipocine N/A -64.49% -59.80%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares bluebird bio and Lipocine’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
bluebird bio $26.65 million 234.96 -$259.89 million ($7.36) -18.66
Lipocine N/A N/A -$16.59 million ($0.91) -4.36

Lipocine has higher revenue, but lower earnings than bluebird bio. bluebird bio is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Lipocine, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Lipocine beats bluebird bio on 7 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

bluebird bio Company Profile

bluebird bio, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company. The Company is focused on developing gene therapies for severe diseases and cancer. With its lentiviral-based gene therapy and gene editing capabilities, it has built an integrated product platform with various applications in these areas. The Company’s clinical programs in severe genetic diseases include its LentiGlobin product candidate to treat transfusion-dependent b-thalassemia and to treat severe sickle cell disease (SCD) and its Lenti-D product candidate to treat cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy (CALD). Its programs in oncology focuses on developing T cell-based immunotherapies, including chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) and T cell receptor (TCR) T cell therapies. bb2121, its lead product candidate in oncology, is a CAR T cell product candidate for the treatment of multiple myeloma. It also has discovery research programs utilizing megaTALs/homing endonuclease gene editing technologies for use across its pipeline.

Lipocine Company Profile

Lipocine Inc. is a specialty pharmaceutical company. The Company is focused on applying its oral drug delivery technology for the development of pharmaceutical products in the area of men’s and women’s health. Its primary development programs are based on oral delivery solutions for bioavailable drugs. Its lead product candidate, LPCN 1021, is an oral testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), designed for twice-a-day dosing and is in Phase III testing. The Company’s additional pipeline candidates include LPCN 1111, an oral testosterone therapy product targeted for once daily dosing, which is in Phase II testing, and LPCN 1107, an oral therapy for the prevention of preterm birth, which is in Phase I testing. These products are based on its Lip’ral promicellar drug delivery technology platform. Lip’ral promicellar technology is a technology based on lipidic compositions, which form an optimal dispersed phase in the gastrointestinal environment for improved absorption of insoluble drugs.

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