Vericel Corporation (NASDAQ: VCEL) and Syros Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SYRS) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, dividends, earnings, risk, analyst recommendations, valuation and profitabiliy.

Profitability

This table compares Vericel Corporation and Syros Pharmaceuticals’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Vericel Corporation -55.77% N/A -62.30%
Syros Pharmaceuticals N/A -112.47% -58.87%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

32.0% of Vericel Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 49.5% of Syros Pharmaceuticals shares are held by institutional investors. 3.3% of Vericel Corporation shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and target prices for Vericel Corporation and Syros Pharmaceuticals, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Vericel Corporation 0 0 3 0 3.00
Syros Pharmaceuticals 0 1 4 0 2.80

Vericel Corporation presently has a consensus price target of $6.00, indicating a potential upside of 96.72%. Syros Pharmaceuticals has a consensus price target of $21.60, indicating a potential downside of 9.05%. Given Vericel Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Vericel Corporation is more favorable than Syros Pharmaceuticals.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Vericel Corporation and Syros Pharmaceuticals’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Vericel Corporation $49.64 million 2.01 -$22.39 million ($1.25) -2.44
Syros Pharmaceuticals $1.42 million 437.87 -$47.61 million ($7.03) -3.38

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

Volatility and Risk

Vericel Corporation has a beta of 3.1, suggesting that its share price is 210% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Syros Pharmaceuticals has a beta of -4.02, suggesting that its share price is 502% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Vericel Corporation beats Syros Pharmaceuticals on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

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.

About Syros Pharmaceuticals

Syros Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company offers a gene control platform designed to analyze the unexploited region of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in human disease tissue to identify and drug targets linked to genomically defined patient populations. The Company is focused on developing treatments for cancer and immune-mediated diseases and is building a pipeline of gene control medicines. The Company’s drug programs include SY-1425 (retinoic acid receptor alpha (RARa) agonist) and SY-1365 (cyclin-dependent kinase 7 (CDK7) inhibitor). SY-1425 (tamibarotene) is an oral, potent and selective agonist, or activator, of the transcription factor RARa. SY-1365 is a small molecule inhibitor of the transcriptional kinase known as CDK7. The Company is using its platform to analyze gene expression programs across additional cancers, inflammatory diseases and other diseases to identify optimal points of therapeutic intervention in specific subsets of patients.

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