Portola Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: PTLA) and Mesoblast (NASDAQ:MESO) are both medical companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, earnings, valuation, risk, profitability, analyst recommendations and dividends.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

87.5% of Portola Pharmaceuticals shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 2.9% of Mesoblast shares are owned by institutional investors. 5.5% of Portola Pharmaceuticals shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 18.8% of Mesoblast shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Portola Pharmaceuticals and Mesoblast, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Portola Pharmaceuticals 0 0 8 0 3.00
Mesoblast 0 2 4 0 2.67

Portola Pharmaceuticals currently has a consensus target price of $75.67, suggesting a potential upside of 60.92%. Mesoblast has a consensus target price of $14.25, suggesting a potential upside of 160.04%. Given Mesoblast’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Mesoblast is more favorable than Portola Pharmaceuticals.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Portola Pharmaceuticals and Mesoblast’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Portola Pharmaceuticals $35.50 million 86.42 -$269.04 million ($4.32) -10.88
Mesoblast $2.41 million 194.73 -$76.81 million ($0.78) -7.03

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


This table compares Portola Pharmaceuticals and Mesoblast’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Portola Pharmaceuticals -938.19% -110.46% -61.18%
Mesoblast -2,006.86% -12.04% -9.60%

Risk & Volatility

Portola Pharmaceuticals has a beta of 1.21, suggesting that its share price is 21% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Mesoblast has a beta of 2.68, suggesting that its share price is 168% more volatile than the S&P 500.


Mesoblast beats Portola Pharmaceuticals on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Portola Pharmaceuticals Company Profile

Portola Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company is focused on the development and commercialization of therapeutics in the areas of thrombosis, other hematologic disorders and inflammation for patients having limited or no approved treatment options. The Company’s two lead programs, Betrixaban and Andexanet alfa, address unmet medical needs in the area of thrombosis, or blood clots. Its third product candidate is Cerdulatinib. The Company’s Syk is a mediator of immune response in various types of immune cells. The Company has a program of selective Syk inhibitors, one of which is partnered with Ora Inc. Betrixaban is an oral once-daily inhibitor of Factor Xa in development for extended duration venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis in acute medically ill patients. Andexanet alfa is an orphan drug, which is a recombinant protein designed to reverse anticoagulant activity in patients treated with an fXa inhibitor.

Mesoblast Company Profile

Mesoblast Limited is engaged in developing cell-based medicines. The Company has leveraged its technology platform, which is based on specialized cells known as mesenchymal lineage adult stem cells, to establish a portfolio of late-stage product candidates. Its allogeneic, off-the-shelf cell product candidates target advanced stages of diseases with high, unmet medical needs, including cardiovascular conditions, orthopedic disorders, immunologic and inflammatory disorders and oncologic/hematologic conditions.

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