Acura Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ACUR) and Flamel Technologies (NASDAQ:AVDL) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, profitabiliy, risk, earnings, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations and dividends.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Acura Pharmaceuticals and Flamel Technologies’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Acura Pharmaceuticals $6.96 million N/A -$2.50 million ($0.83) -0.57
Flamel Technologies $166.54 million 2.30 $58.40 million ($0.32) -28.94

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

Profitability

This table compares Acura Pharmaceuticals and Flamel Technologies’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Acura Pharmaceuticals 14.91% 112.19% 19.04%
Flamel Technologies -7.28% 14.49% 2.74%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and target prices for Acura Pharmaceuticals and Flamel Technologies, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Acura Pharmaceuticals 0 0 2 0 3.00
Flamel Technologies 0 0 2 0 3.00

Acura Pharmaceuticals presently has a consensus price target of $8.00, indicating a potential upside of 1,602.13%. Flamel Technologies has a consensus price target of $16.00, indicating a potential upside of 72.79%. Given Acura Pharmaceuticals’ higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Acura Pharmaceuticals is more favorable than Flamel Technologies.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

31.2% of Acura Pharmaceuticals shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 71.0% of Flamel Technologies shares are held by institutional investors. 7.4% of Acura Pharmaceuticals shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 5.1% of Flamel Technologies shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility and Risk

Acura Pharmaceuticals has a beta of 2.12, indicating that its share price is 112% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Flamel Technologies has a beta of 1.37, indicating that its share price is 37% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Acura Pharmaceuticals beats Flamel Technologies on 6 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

Acura Pharmaceuticals Company Profile

Acura Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a pharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in the research, development and commercialization of technologies and products intended to address medication abuse and misuse. The Company has discovered and developed three platform technologies, which can be used to develop multiple products. The Company’s Oxaydo Tablets (oxycodone HCl, CII), which utilizes the Aversion Technology, is an approved and immediate-release (IR) oxycodone product in the United States. The Company’s Impede technology products include Nexafed and Nexafed Sinus Pressure + Pain. Its third deterrent technology is Limitx, which is designed to retard the release of active drug ingredients when too many tablets are accidently or purposefully ingested. The Company’s Aversion and Limitx technologies are intended to address methods associated with opioid and its Impede technology is directed at the extraction and conversion of pseudoephedrine into methamphetamine.

Flamel Technologies Company Profile

Flamel Technologies S.A. is a specialty pharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in the development and commercialization of pharmaceutical products, including controlled-release therapeutic products based on its polymer based technology. The Company has a balanced business model consisting of an Unapproved Marketed Drugs (UMDs) business with over two approved products in the United States, Bloxiverz (neostigmine methylsulfate injection) and Vazculep (phenylephrine hydrochloride injection) that are marketed; a branded pediatric business, and a branded business, focusing on the development of products utilizing Flamel’s drug delivery platforms. The Company owns and develops drug delivery platforms, including Micropump, LiquiTime, Trigger Lock and Medusa. The Company has two direct operating subsidiaries: Flamel US Holdings, Inc. and Flamel Irish Holdings, Ltd.

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