Verastem (NASDAQ: VSTM) and Seres Therapeutics (NASDAQ:MCRB) are both small-cap healthcare companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, profitability, dividends, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, earnings and risk.

Profitability

This table compares Verastem and Seres Therapeutics’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Verastem N/A -110.32% -85.98%
Seres Therapeutics -267.15% -82.11% -36.25%

Risk and Volatility

Verastem has a beta of 2.19, meaning that its share price is 119% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Seres Therapeutics has a beta of 0.22, meaning that its share price is 78% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Verastem and Seres Therapeutics’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Verastem N/A N/A -$36.44 million ($1.64) -1.86
Seres Therapeutics $21.77 million 19.59 -$91.57 million ($2.12) -4.96

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

Insider & Institutional Ownership

28.7% of Verastem shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 75.9% of Seres Therapeutics shares are held by institutional investors. 6.5% of Verastem shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 35.7% of Seres Therapeutics 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.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings for Verastem and Seres Therapeutics, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Verastem 0 1 7 0 2.88
Seres Therapeutics 0 0 9 0 3.00

Verastem presently has a consensus price target of $10.64, indicating a potential upside of 248.95%. Seres Therapeutics has a consensus price target of $18.75, indicating a potential upside of 78.23%. Given Verastem’s higher probable upside, equities analysts plainly believe Verastem is more favorable than Seres Therapeutics.

Summary

Seres Therapeutics beats Verastem on 7 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Verastem Company Profile

Verastem, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company is focused on discovering and developing drugs to improve outcomes for patients with cancer. The Company operates in the segment of developing drugs for the treatment of cancer. The Company’s advanced product candidates are VS 6063, VS 4718 and VS 5584. The Company’s programs target the Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK) and the PI3K/mTOR signaling pathways. FAK is a non-receptor tyrosine kinase encoded by the PTK-2 gene that is involved in cellular adhesion and, in cancer, metastatic capability. The Company’s VS-6063 (defactinib) and VS 4718 are orally available small molecule compounds designed to inhibit FAK signaling. The Company’s VS-5584 is an orally available small molecule that inhibits both mTORC1/2 and PI3K signaling. The Company is engaged in running clinical trials in cancers where there are limited treatment options, including lung, ovarian, lymphoma, pancreatic and other advanced cancers.

Seres Therapeutics Company Profile

Seres Therapeutics, Inc. is a microbiome therapeutics platform company. The Company is engaged in developing a class of biological drugs, which is referred as Ecobiotic microbiome therapeutics. The Company’s drugs are designed to restore health by repairing the function of a dysbiotic microbiome. The Company is focused on implementing its microbiome therapeutics platform to develop Ecobiotic microbiome therapeutics that treats dysbiosis in the colonic microbiome. SER-109 is its lead product candidate, which is designed to prevent further recurrences of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). The Company is developing additional product candidates, including SER-262 to prevent an initial recurrence of primary CDI; SER-287 and SER-301, to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including ulcerative colitis, and SER-155 to treat enteric bacterial pathogens.

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