Verastem (NASDAQ:VSTM) and Juniper Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:JNP) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, earnings, valuation, dividends, risk, profitability and institutional ownership.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Verastem and Juniper Pharmaceuticals, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Verastem 0 0 9 0 3.00
Juniper Pharmaceuticals 0 1 1 0 2.50

Verastem presently has a consensus price target of $15.00, indicating a potential upside of 163.62%. Juniper Pharmaceuticals has a consensus price target of $24.00, indicating a potential upside of 108.70%. Given Verastem’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities analysts plainly believe Verastem is more favorable than Juniper Pharmaceuticals.

Profitability

This table compares Verastem and Juniper Pharmaceuticals’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Verastem N/A -122.36% -81.96%
Juniper Pharmaceuticals -1.77% -1.09% -0.77%

Risk & Volatility

Verastem has a beta of 2.75, suggesting that its stock price is 175% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Juniper Pharmaceuticals has a beta of 0.66, suggesting that its stock price is 34% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

43.5% of Verastem shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 45.6% of Juniper Pharmaceuticals shares are owned by institutional investors. 6.5% of Verastem shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 7.2% of Juniper Pharmaceuticals shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Verastem and Juniper Pharmaceuticals’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Verastem N/A N/A -$67.80 million ($1.76) -3.23
Juniper Pharmaceuticals $49.98 million 2.60 -$2.06 million ($0.15) -76.67

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

Summary

Juniper Pharmaceuticals beats Verastem on 7 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Verastem

Verastem, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, focuses on developing and commercializing drugs for the treatment of cancer. Its programs target the focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling pathways. The company's lead FAK inhibitor is defactinib, an orally available candidate for combination therapy with immuno-oncology agents and other anti-cancer compounds. Its defactinib is in Phase 1b study for the treatment of pancreatic cancer, as well as in Phase 1/2 clinical trial for the treatment of ovarian cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, mesothelioma, and pancreatic cancer. The company also engages in developing duvelisib, an investigational oral therapy that targets the PI3K signaling pathway, as well as attacks malignant B-cells and T-cells and disrupt the tumor microenvironment to help thwart their growth and proliferation for patients with hematologic cancers through the dual inhibition of PI3K delta and gamma. Its duvelisib is in Phase 3 randomized and late-and mid-stage clinical trials for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia or small lymphocytic lymphoma, as well as completed the Phase 2 study for the treatment of patients with double-refractory indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The company has license agreements with Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; and Pfizer, Inc. Verastem, Inc. was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in Needham, Massachusetts.

About Juniper Pharmaceuticals

Juniper Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a diversified healthcare company, focuses on developing novel intra-vaginal therapeutics that address unmet medical needs in women's health. It operates in two segments, Product and Service. The company develops its products utilizing its proprietary drug delivery technologies, which include bioadhesive delivery system, a polymer designed to adhere to epithelial surfaces or mucosa to achieve sustained and controlled delivery of active drug product; and a novel intravaginal ring technology. Juniper Pharmaceuticals, Inc. markets Crinone, a progesterone bioadhesive vaginal gel for progesterone supplementation or replacement as part of an assisted reproductive technology treatment for infertile women with progesterone deficiency. Its product candidates include JNP-0101, which is designed to deliver oxybutynin for the treatment of overactive bladder in women; JNP-0201, which contains natural progesterone and estradiol to be used for hormone replacement therapy in menopausal women; and JNP-0301, a natural progesterone for the prevention of preterm birth in women with a short cervical length. The company offers pharmaceutical product development; clinical trial manufacturing; and analytical and consulting services. Juniper Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has collaboration agreements with Merck KGaA and Allergan, as well as patent license agreement with Massachusetts General Hospital. The company was formerly known as Columbia Laboratories, Inc. and changed its name to Juniper Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in April 2015. Juniper Pharmaceuticals, Inc. was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts.

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