Charles River Laboratories International (NYSE: CRL) and Heron Therapeutics (NASDAQ:HRTX) are both medical companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, institutional ownership, earnings, analyst recommendations, valuation, profitability and risk.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and target prices for Charles River Laboratories International and Heron Therapeutics, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Charles River Laboratories International 0 5 4 0 2.44
Heron Therapeutics 0 0 10 0 3.00

Charles River Laboratories International currently has a consensus price target of $103.17, indicating a potential downside of 8.64%. Heron Therapeutics has a consensus price target of $30.11, indicating a potential upside of 95.53%. Given Heron Therapeutics’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Heron Therapeutics is more favorable than Charles River Laboratories International.

Risk & Volatility

Charles River Laboratories International has a beta of 0.96, indicating that its share price is 4% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Heron Therapeutics has a beta of 2.12, indicating that its share price is 112% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Charles River Laboratories International and Heron Therapeutics’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Charles River Laboratories International $1.81 billion 2.97 $435.89 million $3.81 29.64
Heron Therapeutics $13.42 million 62.13 -$174.14 million ($4.26) -3.62

Charles River Laboratories International has higher revenue and earnings than Heron Therapeutics. Heron Therapeutics is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Charles River Laboratories International, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Charles River Laboratories International and Heron Therapeutics’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Charles River Laboratories International 10.13% 27.02% 8.84%
Heron Therapeutics N/A -451.80% -152.23%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

95.1% of Charles River Laboratories International shares are held by institutional investors. 2.2% of Charles River Laboratories International shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 19.9% of Heron Therapeutics shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

Charles River Laboratories International beats Heron Therapeutics on 7 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Charles River Laboratories International

Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. is an early-stage contract research company. The Company is engaged in laboratory animal medicine and science (research model technologies) and develop a portfolio of discovery and safety assessment services, both good laboratory practice (GLP) and non-GLP, which supports its clients from target identification through non-clinical development. The Company operates in three segments: Research Models and Services (RMS), Discovery and Safety Assessment (DSA), and Manufacturing Support (Manufacturing). The RMS segment includes Research Models and Research Model Services. The DSA segment includes Discovery Services and Safety Assessment. The Manufacturing segment includes Microbial Solutions, Avian, Biologics and Contract Manufacturing. The Company also provides a suite of products and services to support the Company’s clients’ manufacturing activities.

About Heron Therapeutics

Heron Therapeutics, Inc. is a biotechnology company engaged in developing pharmaceutical products for patients suffering from cancer or pain. The Company’s product candidates include SUSTOL, HTX-019 and HTX-011. All of its product candidates utilize science and technology platforms, including its Biochronomer drug delivery technology. The Company’s SUSTOL (granisetron) injection, extended release is being developed for the prevention of both acute and delayed chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) associated with moderately emetogenic chemotherapy (MEC) or highly emetogenic chemotherapy (HEC). HTX-019, which is an intravenous formulation of aprepitant, a neurokinin-1 (NK1) receptor antagonist, is being developed for the prevention of CINV. HTX-011, a long-acting formulation of the local anesthetic bupivacaine in a fixed-dose combination with the anti-inflammatory meloxicam, is being developed for the prevention of post-operative pain. HTX-011 is in Phase II clinical trials.

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