Meridian Bioscience (NASDAQ: VIVO) and OraSure Technologies (NASDAQ:OSUR) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, dividends, risk, earnings, profitability and valuation.

Dividends

Meridian Bioscience pays an annual dividend of $0.50 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.3%. OraSure Technologies does not pay a dividend. Meridian Bioscience pays out 98.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future.

Risk and Volatility

Meridian Bioscience has a beta of 0.89, suggesting that its share price is 11% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, OraSure Technologies has a beta of 1.39, suggesting that its share price is 39% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Meridian Bioscience and OraSure Technologies’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Meridian Bioscience $200.77 million 3.14 $21.55 million $0.51 29.31
OraSure Technologies $128.20 million 6.50 $19.72 million $0.52 26.42

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

Profitability

This table compares Meridian Bioscience and OraSure Technologies’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Meridian Bioscience 10.74% 17.07% 11.52%
OraSure Technologies 20.48% 14.12% 12.57%

Insider & Institutional Ownership

87.3% of Meridian Bioscience shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 92.9% of OraSure Technologies shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.3% of Meridian Bioscience shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 6.4% of OraSure Technologies shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and price targets for Meridian Bioscience and OraSure Technologies, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Meridian Bioscience 1 3 0 0 1.75
OraSure Technologies 0 1 4 0 2.80

Meridian Bioscience currently has a consensus target price of $11.50, suggesting a potential downside of 23.08%. OraSure Technologies has a consensus target price of $17.25, suggesting a potential upside of 25.55%. Given OraSure Technologies’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe OraSure Technologies is more favorable than Meridian Bioscience.

Summary

OraSure Technologies beats Meridian Bioscience on 12 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Meridian Bioscience Company Profile

Meridian Bioscience, Inc. is a life science company engaged in the development, manufacture, sale and distribution of diagnostic test kits for gastrointestinal, viral, respiratory and parasitic infectious diseases, and elevated blood lead levels, and the manufacture and distribution of bulk antigens, antibodies, polymerase chain reaction (PCR)/quantitative PCR (qPCR) reagents, nucleotides, competent cells and bioresearch reagents used by researchers and other diagnostic manufacturers. Its segments include Diagnostics and Life Science. The Diagnostics segment includes manufacturing operations in Cincinnati, and the sale and distribution of diagnostic test kits in the countries consisting of North, Central and South America; Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and other countries outside of the Americas and EMEA. The Life Science segment consists of manufacturing operations in Memphis, Tennessee; Boca Raton, Florida; London, England; Luckenwalde, Germany, and Sydney, Australia.

OraSure Technologies Company Profile

OraSure Technologies, Inc. (OraSure) is involved in the development, manufacture, marketing and sale of oral fluid diagnostic products and specimen collection devices using its technologies, as well as other diagnostic products, including immunoassays and other in vitro diagnostic tests that are used on other specimen types. The Company operates in two segments: OSUR and DNAG. OSUR consists of the development, manufacture and sale of diagnostic products, specimen collection devices, and medical devices. DNAG or molecular collection systems business consists primarily of the development, manufacture and sale of oral fluid collection devices that are used to collect, stabilize, and store samples of genetic material for molecular testing. It also manufactures and sells medical devices used for the removal of benign skin lesions by cryosurgery or freezing. It sells over-the-counter (OTC) cryosurgical products to consumers in North America, Europe, Central and South America, and Australia.

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