Protagonist Therapeutics (NASDAQ: PTGX) and Mesoblast Limited (NASDAQ:MESO) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, profitability, analyst recommendations, dividends, institutional ownership, valuation and risk.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for Protagonist Therapeutics and Mesoblast Limited, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Protagonist Therapeutics 0 0 2 0 3.00
Mesoblast Limited 0 2 4 0 2.67

Protagonist Therapeutics presently has a consensus target price of $39.50, indicating a potential upside of 127.01%. Mesoblast Limited has a consensus target price of $14.25, indicating a potential upside of 183.30%. Given Mesoblast Limited’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Mesoblast Limited is more favorable than Protagonist Therapeutics.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Protagonist Therapeutics and Mesoblast Limited’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Protagonist Therapeutics N/A N/A -$37.17 million ($2.69) -6.47
Mesoblast Limited $2.41 million 178.74 -$76.81 million ($0.78) -6.45

Protagonist Therapeutics has higher revenue, but lower earnings than Mesoblast Limited. Protagonist Therapeutics is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Mesoblast Limited, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility and Risk

Protagonist Therapeutics has a beta of -3.13, indicating that its share price is 413% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Mesoblast Limited has a beta of 2.7, indicating that its share price is 170% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

39.7% of Protagonist Therapeutics shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 2.9% of Mesoblast Limited shares are held by institutional investors. 18.8% of Mesoblast Limited shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Protagonist Therapeutics and Mesoblast Limited’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Protagonist Therapeutics N/A -64.21% -50.51%
Mesoblast Limited -2,006.86% -12.26% -9.63%

Summary

Mesoblast Limited beats Protagonist Therapeutics on 8 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Protagonist Therapeutics

Protagonist Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company with a peptide technology platform focused on discovering and developing new chemical entities (NECs) to address significant unmet medical needs. The Company’s product pipeline includes PTG-100, PTG-200 and PTG-300. Its primary focus is on developing oral peptide drugs that target biological pathways also targeted by marketed injectable antibody drugs. PTG-100 is an oral, alpha-4-beta-7 (a4b7) integrin-specific antagonist peptide product candidate, which has completed a Phase I clinical trial in normal healthy volunteers (NHVs). PTG-100 is being developed for treatment of moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis (UC). PTG-200 is an oral Interleukin-23 receptor (IL-23R) antagonist being developed for moderate-to-severe Crohn’s disease (CD). PTG-200 is in investigational new drug (IND) enabling studies. PTG-300 is an injectable hepcidin mimetic for treatment of iron overload related rare diseases.

About Mesoblast Limited

Mesoblast Limited is engaged in developing cell-based medicines. The Company has leveraged its technology platform, which is based on specialized cells known as mesenchymal lineage adult stem cells, to establish a portfolio of late-stage product candidates. Its allogeneic, off-the-shelf cell product candidates target advanced stages of diseases with high, unmet medical needs, including cardiovascular conditions, orthopedic disorders, immunologic and inflammatory disorders and oncologic/hematologic conditions.

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