VIVUS (NASDAQ: VVUS) and Vericel Corporation (NASDAQ:VCEL) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, analyst recommendations, earnings, profitability, valuation, risk and institutional ownership.

Volatility & Risk

VIVUS has a beta of 0.96, meaning that its share price is 4% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Vericel Corporation has a beta of 3.17, meaning that its share price is 217% more volatile than the S&P 500.


This table compares VIVUS and Vericel Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
VIVUS 24.72% 3,746.48% 11.02%
Vericel Corporation -50.27% N/A -59.46%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for VIVUS and Vericel Corporation, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
VIVUS 0 0 0 0 N/A
Vericel Corporation 0 0 3 0 3.00

Vericel Corporation has a consensus price target of $6.33, suggesting a potential upside of 27.95%. Given Vericel Corporation’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Vericel Corporation is more favorable than VIVUS.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares VIVUS and Vericel Corporation’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
VIVUS $133.40 million 0.68 $67.14 million $0.31 2.76
Vericel Corporation $53.77 million 3.02 -$20.03 million ($1.10) -4.50

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

Institutional and Insider Ownership

35.7% of VIVUS shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 33.8% of Vericel Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 4.4% of VIVUS shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 3.3% of Vericel Corporation shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.


VIVUS beats Vericel Corporation on 8 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.


VIVUS, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company operates in the development and commercialization of therapeutic products segment. It provides over two therapies approved by the Food and Drug Association (FDA), which include Qsymia (phentermine and topiramate extended-release) for chronic weight management and STENDRA (avanafil) for erectile dysfunction (ED). The Company has completed the Phase II studies of Qsymia for the indication of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and diabetes. Its Qsymia is available in over 40,000 certified retail pharmacies across the country. Its STENDRA is also approved by the European Commission (EC), under the name, SPEDRA, for the treatment of ED in the Europe. The United States Food and Drug Association approved a Supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for STENDRA. STENDRA is indicated to be taken approximately 15 minutes before sexual activity.

About Vericel Corporation

Vericel Corporation, formerly Aastrom Biosciences, Inc., is a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the identification, development and commercialization of therapies that enable the body to repair and regenerate damaged tissues and organs to restore normal structure and function. The Company operates through the research, product development, manufacture and distribution of patient-specific, expanded cellular therapies for use in the treatment of specific diseases segment. Its autologous cell therapy products include Carticel (autologous cultured chondrocytes), which is an autologous chondrocyte implant for the treatment of cartilage defects in the knee, and Epicel (cultured epidermal autografts), which is a permanent skin replacement for the treatment of patients with deep-dermal or full-thickness burns. The Company is developing MACI, which is a third-generation autologous chondrocyte implant and ixmyelocel-T, which is a patient-specific multicellular therapy.

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