NanoString Technologies (NASDAQ: NSTG) and Lantheus Holdings (NASDAQ:LNTH) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, profitabiliy, valuation, risk, dividends and earnings.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations for NanoString Technologies and Lantheus Holdings, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
NanoString Technologies 0 1 1 0 2.50
Lantheus Holdings 0 1 3 0 2.75

NanoString Technologies presently has a consensus target price of $20.00, indicating a potential upside of 46.20%. Lantheus Holdings has a consensus target price of $18.75, indicating a potential upside of 1.35%. Given NanoString Technologies’ higher probable upside, equities research analysts clearly believe NanoString Technologies is more favorable than Lantheus Holdings.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares NanoString Technologies and Lantheus Holdings’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
NanoString Technologies $89.86 million 3.30 -$42.26 million ($2.13) -6.42
Lantheus Holdings $317.61 million 2.18 $75.23 million $0.72 25.69

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

Profitability

This table compares NanoString Technologies and Lantheus Holdings’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
NanoString Technologies -44.28% -5,009.78% -40.36%
Lantheus Holdings 8.44% -37.47% 15.16%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

89.5% of NanoString Technologies shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 66.3% of Lantheus Holdings shares are owned by institutional investors. 24.4% of NanoString Technologies shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.3% of Lantheus Holdings shares are owned 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.

Risk and Volatility

NanoString Technologies has a beta of 1.07, indicating that its stock price is 7% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Lantheus Holdings has a beta of 0.91, indicating that its stock price is 9% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Lantheus Holdings beats NanoString Technologies on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

NanoString Technologies Company Profile

NanoString Technologies, Inc. develops, manufactures and sells intuitive products that unlock scientifically valuable and clinically actionable biologic information from minute amounts of tissue. The Company is engaged in the development, manufacture and commercialization of instruments, consumables and services for profiling the activity of hundreds of genes and proteins simultaneously from a single tissue sample. The Company’s nCounter Analysis System is an automated, multi-application, digital detection and counting system, which directly profiles hundreds of molecules simultaneously using a barcoding technology. The Company markets systems and related consumables to researchers in academic, government and biopharmaceutical laboratories for use in understanding fundamental biology and the molecular basis of diseases, such as cancer, and to clinical laboratories and medical centers for diagnostic use.

Lantheus Holdings Company Profile

Lantheus Holdings, Inc. is engaged in the development, manufacture and commercialization of diagnostic medical imaging agents and products that assist clinicians in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular and other diseases. Its imaging agents and products are used across a range of imaging modalities, including echocardiography and nuclear imaging. It operates in two segments: U.S. Segment and International Segment. The U.S. Segment produces and markets its medical imaging agents and products throughout the United States. In the United States, it sells its products to radiopharmacies, integrated delivery networks, hospitals, clinics and group practices. The International Segment operations consist of production and distribution activities in Puerto Rico and direct distribution activities in Canada. Its portfolio of nine commercial products is diversified across a range of imaging modalities. Its products include an ultrasound contrast agent and medical radiopharmaceuticals.

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