Natus Medical (NASDAQ: BABY) and ViewRay (NASDAQ:VRAY) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, analyst recommendations, earnings, valuation, institutional ownership, risk and dividends.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Natus Medical and ViewRay, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Natus Medical 1 1 1 0 2.00
ViewRay 0 0 5 0 3.00

Natus Medical presently has a consensus target price of $48.00, suggesting a potential upside of 25.65%. ViewRay has a consensus target price of $10.00, suggesting a potential upside of 66.67%. Given ViewRay’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe ViewRay is more favorable than Natus Medical.

Profitability

This table compares Natus Medical and ViewRay’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Natus Medical 4.20% 12.09% 8.06%
ViewRay -333.93% N/A -69.60%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Natus Medical and ViewRay’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Natus Medical $445.49 million 2.79 $48.00 million $0.57 67.02
ViewRay $18.41 million 19.23 -$43.16 million ($1.29) -4.65

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

Institutional & Insider Ownership

92.7% of Natus Medical shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 53.7% of ViewRay shares are held by institutional investors. 5.5% of Natus Medical shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 62.8% of ViewRay shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Volatility and Risk

Natus Medical has a beta of 0.95, suggesting that its share price is 5% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, ViewRay has a beta of -0.33, suggesting that its share price is 133% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Natus Medical beats ViewRay on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Natus Medical

Natus Medical Incorporated is a provider of newborn care and neurology healthcare products and services used for the screening, diagnosis, detection, treatment, monitoring and tracking of common medical ailments in newborn care, hearing impairment, neurological dysfunction, epilepsy, sleep disorders, neuromuscular diseases and balance and mobility disorders. The Company’s product offerings include computerized neurodiagnostic systems for audiology, neurology, polysomnography, and neonatology, as well as newborn care products, such as hearing screening systems, phototherapy devices for the treatment of newborn jaundice, head-cooling products for the treatment of brain injury in newborns, incubators to control the newborn’s environment, and software systems for managing and tracking disorders and diseases for public health laboratories. The Company is organized into three strategic business units: Neurology, Newborn Care and Otometrics.

About ViewRay

ViewRay, Inc. designs, manufactures and markets MRIdian, the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided radiation therapy system to image and treat cancer patients simultaneously. The Company offers radiation therapy technology combined with magnetic resonance imaging. MRIdian integrates MRI technology, radiation delivery and the Company’s software to locate, target and track the position and shape of soft-tissue tumors while radiation is delivered. MRIdian delivers radiation to the tumor accurately while delivering less radiation to healthy tissue. MRIdian provides real-time imaging that defines the targeted tumor from the surrounding soft tissue and other critical organs during radiation treatment. MRIdian allows physicians to record the level of radiation exposure that the tumor has received and adapt the prescription between fractions as needed.

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