LightPath Technologies (NASDAQ: LPTH) and TearLab Corporation (OTCMKTS:TEAR) are both small-cap healthcare companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, analyst recommendations, profitability, dividends, institutional ownership, earnings and valuation.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for LightPath Technologies and TearLab Corporation, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
LightPath Technologies 0 0 2 0 3.00
TearLab Corporation 0 0 4 0 3.00

LightPath Technologies presently has a consensus price target of $2.80, indicating a potential upside of 12.45%. TearLab Corporation has a consensus price target of $5.75, indicating a potential upside of 704.20%. Given TearLab Corporation’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe TearLab Corporation is more favorable than LightPath Technologies.

Volatility & Risk

LightPath Technologies has a beta of -0.49, indicating that its stock price is 149% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, TearLab Corporation has a beta of 2.92, indicating that its stock price is 192% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares LightPath Technologies and TearLab Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
LightPath Technologies 25.13% 31.44% 19.09%
TearLab Corporation -60.22% N/A -75.54%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares LightPath Technologies and TearLab Corporation’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
LightPath Technologies $28.37 million 2.15 $7.70 million $0.32 7.78
TearLab Corporation $28.01 million 0.15 -$19.92 million ($2.98) -0.24

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

Institutional and Insider Ownership

32.7% of LightPath Technologies shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 19.8% of TearLab Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. 12.7% of LightPath Technologies shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 12.0% of TearLab Corporation shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

LightPath Technologies beats TearLab Corporation on 9 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

About LightPath Technologies

LightPath Technologies, Inc. is a manufacturer and integrator of families of precision molded aspheric optics, fiber-optic collimator, GRADIUM glass lenses and other optical materials used to produce products that manipulate light. The Company designs, develops, manufactures and distributes optical components and assemblies utilizing the optical processes and manufacturing technologies. The Company also performs research and development for optical solutions for the traditional optics markets and communications markets. The Company’s products are incorporated into a range of applications by its customers in various industries, including defense products, medical devices, laser aided industrial tools, automotive safety applications, barcode scanners, optical data storage, hybrid fiber coax datacom, telecommunications, machine vision and sensors.

About TearLab Corporation

TearLab Corporation is an in-vitro diagnostic company. The Company has commercialized a tear testing platform, the TearLab Osmolarity System, which enables eye care practitioners to test for sensitive and specific biomarkers using nanoliters of tear film at the point-of-care. The Company, through its subsidiary TearLab Research, Inc., develops technologies to enable eye care practitioners to test a range of biomarkers (chemistries, metabolites, genes and proteins) at the point-of-care. Its product, the TearLab Osmolarity System, enables the measurement of tear osmolarity in the doctor’s office. The TearLab Osmolarity System consists of approximately three components: the TearLab disposable, the TearLab Pen, and the TearLab Reader. The TearLab disposable is a single-use microfluidic microchip. The TearLab Pen is a hand-held device that interfaces with the TearLab disposable. The TearLab Reader is a small desktop unit that allows for the docking of the TearLab Pen.

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