Sunesis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SNSS) and PRA Health Sciences (NASDAQ:PRAH) are both healthcare companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, risk, profitability, dividends, analyst recommendations, valuation and institutional ownership.


This table compares Sunesis Pharmaceuticals and PRA Health Sciences’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Sunesis Pharmaceuticals N/A N/A -125.56%
PRA Health Sciences 5.64% 21.66% 7.02%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Sunesis Pharmaceuticals and PRA Health Sciences’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Sunesis Pharmaceuticals $2.54 million 57.44 -$38.02 million ($1.75) -2.43
PRA Health Sciences $1.81 billion 3.16 $68.17 million $1.79 50.49

PRA Health Sciences has higher revenue and earnings than Sunesis Pharmaceuticals. Sunesis Pharmaceuticals is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than PRA Health Sciences, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and price targets for Sunesis Pharmaceuticals and PRA Health Sciences, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Sunesis Pharmaceuticals 0 2 2 0 2.50
PRA Health Sciences 0 1 11 0 2.92

Sunesis Pharmaceuticals presently has a consensus target price of $4.16, indicating a potential downside of 2.35%. PRA Health Sciences has a consensus target price of $91.08, indicating a potential upside of 0.79%. Given PRA Health Sciences’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe PRA Health Sciences is more favorable than Sunesis Pharmaceuticals.

Risk & Volatility

Sunesis Pharmaceuticals has a beta of 1.53, meaning that its share price is 53% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, PRA Health Sciences has a beta of 0.41, meaning that its share price is 59% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

38.2% of Sunesis Pharmaceuticals shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 98.2% of PRA Health Sciences shares are held by institutional investors. 10.2% of Sunesis Pharmaceuticals shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.1% of PRA Health Sciences shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.


PRA Health Sciences beats Sunesis Pharmaceuticals on 11 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Sunesis Pharmaceuticals Company Profile

Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company focuses on the development and commercialization of its pipeline of oncology therapeutics for the treatment of solid and hematologic cancers. The Company offers QINPREZO (vosaroxin), which is a product candidate for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Vosaroxin is an anticancer quinolone derivative (AQD). The Company’s other kinase inhibitor pipeline include TAK-580, SNS-062 and SNS-229. TAK-580 is an oral, investigative drug selective for pan-Raf kinase inhibition, in patients with relapsed or refractory solid tumors. SNS-062 is a non-covalently binding inhibitor of Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK). The Company has completed the pre-clinical studies for SNS-062. SNS-229 and SNS-510 are two PDK1 inhibitors. PDK1 is a kinase and mediator of Phosphoinositide 3-kinase/AKT (PI3K/AKT) signaling, which is a pathway involved in cell growth, differentiation, survival and migration.

PRA Health Sciences Company Profile

PRA Health Sciences, Inc. is a contract research organization. The Company provides outsourced clinical development services to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. The Company offers therapeutic services in areas of pharmaceutical development, including oncology, central nervous system, inflammation and infectious diseases. Its services include data management, statistical analysis, clinical trial management, and regulatory and drug development consulting. It provides its clients with clinical development service offerings, which includes both traditional, project-based Phase I through Phase IV services, as well as embedded and functional outsourcing services. As of December 31, 2016, its clinical development platform included approximately 70 offices across North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America, South Africa, Australia and the Middle East. The Company’s service offerings include product registration, strategic solutions and early development services.

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