Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: INO) and Genocea Biosciences (NASDAQ:GNCA) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, earnings, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, profitability, valuation and dividends.

Volatility and Risk

Inovio Pharmaceuticals has a beta of 2.75, suggesting that its stock price is 175% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Genocea Biosciences has a beta of 2.29, suggesting that its stock price is 129% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

24.8% of Inovio Pharmaceuticals shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 59.3% of Genocea Biosciences shares are held by institutional investors. 10.6% of Inovio Pharmaceuticals shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 6.7% of Genocea Biosciences shares are held 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 ratings and target prices for Inovio Pharmaceuticals and Genocea Biosciences, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Inovio Pharmaceuticals 0 2 8 0 2.80
Genocea Biosciences 0 0 4 0 3.00

Inovio Pharmaceuticals presently has a consensus target price of $20.90, suggesting a potential upside of 246.60%. Genocea Biosciences has a consensus target price of $21.75, suggesting a potential upside of 289.09%. Given Genocea Biosciences’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Genocea Biosciences is more favorable than Inovio Pharmaceuticals.

Profitability

This table compares Inovio Pharmaceuticals and Genocea Biosciences’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Inovio Pharmaceuticals -153.46% -63.67% -46.77%
Genocea Biosciences N/A -146.46% -92.29%

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Inovio Pharmaceuticals and Genocea Biosciences’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Inovio Pharmaceuticals $51.84 million 10.50 -$70.60 million ($1.08) -5.58
Genocea Biosciences N/A N/A -$54.72 million ($2.03) -2.75

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

Summary

Inovio Pharmaceuticals beats Genocea Biosciences on 7 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals Company Profile

Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Inovio) is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company, which is involved in developing deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) immunotherapies and vaccines focused on treating and preventing cancers and infectious diseases. The Company’s DNA-based immunotherapies, in combination with its electroporation delivery devices, generates immune responses, in particular T cells, in the body to fight target diseases. It has completed, current or planned clinical programs of its SynCon immunotherapies for human papillomavirus (HPV)-caused pre-cancers and cancers, influenza, prostate cancer, breast/lung/pancreatic cancer, hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Ebola, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Zika virus. With its immunotherapy platform, as well as with its CELLECTRA electroporation delivery technology, it has a pipeline of pre-clinical and clinical stage products that have generated in vivo immune responses.

Genocea Biosciences Company Profile

Genocea Biosciences, Inc., is harnessing the power of T cell immunity to develop vaccines and immunotherapies company. The Company uses its discovery platform, AnTigen Lead Acquisition System (ATLAS), to design vaccines and immunotherapies that act, in part, through T cell (or cellular) immune responses. The Company has one product candidate in Phase III clinical development, GEN-003, an immunotherapy for the treatment of genital herpes. It also has a pre-clinical immuno-oncology program focused on personalized cancer vaccines (GEN-009). The GEN-009 program leverages ATLAS to identify patient neoantigens, or newly formed antigens unique to each patient, that are associated with that individual’s tumor.

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