Novavax (NASDAQ: PSTI) and Pluristem Therapeutics (NASDAQ:PSTI) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, earnings, risk, analyst recommendations, dividends, institutional ownership and profitability.

Profitability

This table compares Novavax and Pluristem Therapeutics’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Novavax -475.36% N/A -62.18%
Pluristem Therapeutics N/A -77.44% -61.88%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for Novavax and Pluristem Therapeutics, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Novavax 1 3 4 0 2.38
Pluristem Therapeutics 0 0 5 0 3.00

Novavax currently has a consensus target price of $3.80, indicating a potential upside of 155.03%. Pluristem Therapeutics has a consensus target price of $4.13, indicating a potential upside of 214.89%. Given Pluristem Therapeutics’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Pluristem Therapeutics is more favorable than Novavax.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

44.0% of Novavax shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 3.6% of Pluristem Therapeutics shares are held by institutional investors. 3.4% of Novavax shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 7.2% of Pluristem Therapeutics shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Novavax and Pluristem Therapeutics’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Novavax $31.18 million 18.28 -$183.76 million ($0.63) -2.37
Pluristem Therapeutics $2.85 million 50.96 -$27.81 million ($0.32) -4.09

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

Risk and Volatility

Novavax has a beta of 2.62, meaning that its stock price is 162% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Pluristem Therapeutics has a beta of 0.37, meaning that its stock price is 63% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Pluristem Therapeutics beats Novavax on 9 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Novavax

Novavax, Inc., together with its subsidiary, Novavax AB, a clinical-stage biotechnology company, focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialization of recombinant nanoparticle vaccines and adjuvants. Its lead adjuvant is Matrix-M that is used to enable a vaccine to enhance the amplitude of the immune response and qualitatively change it, enhance its specificity to provide protection against related microorganisms, as well as allows immunization with much lower doses of antigen. The company develops respiratory syncytial (RSV) virus fusion protein nanoparticle vaccine candidate for infants via maternal immunization in Phase III clinical trial; older adults in Phase II clinical trial; and children six months to five years of age in Phase I clinical trial. Novavax, Inc. also develops NanoFlu vaccine, which is in Phase I/II clinical trial for treating seasonal influenza in older adults; and Ebola virus glycoprotein vaccine that is in Phase I clinical trial. Its preclinical programs include Zika virus; combination respiratory vaccine candidate to protect against RSV and seasonal influenza, as well as other infectious disease vaccine candidates. Novavax, Inc. was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

About Pluristem Therapeutics

Pluristem Therapeutics, Inc. is a biotechnology company, which engages in the provision of cell therapy development. It develops placenta-based cell therapy product candidates for the treatment of multiple ischemic, inflammatory and hematologic conditions. The company focuses on cell therapies for the treatment of diseases such as muscle injury, acute radiation syndrome, pulmonary arterial hypertension and others. Its products include PLacental eXpanded, PLX-PAD, and PLX-R18. The company was founded by Doron Shorrer on May 11, 2001 and is headquartered in Haifa, Israel.

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