Vital Therapies (NASDAQ:VTL) versus Prothena (NASDAQ:PRTA) Critical Comparison

Vital Therapies (NASDAQ:VTL) and Prothena (NASDAQ:PRTA) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, analyst recommendations, earnings, profitability, institutional ownership, dividends and risk.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

15.5% of Vital Therapies shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 99.7% of Prothena shares are owned by institutional investors. 33.9% of Vital Therapies shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 4.4% of Prothena shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility and Risk

Vital Therapies has a beta of 3.51, suggesting that its share price is 251% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Prothena has a beta of 2.26, suggesting that its share price is 126% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Vital Therapies and Prothena’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Vital Therapies N/A -235.33% -182.35%
Prothena -10,435.79% -27.59% -18.12%

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Vital Therapies and Prothena’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Vital Therapies N/A N/A -$41.47 million N/A N/A
Prothena $950,000.00 289.38 -$155.65 million ($3.61) -1.91

Vital Therapies has higher earnings, but lower revenue than Prothena.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Vital Therapies and Prothena, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Vital Therapies 0 3 0 0 2.00
Prothena 1 1 1 0 2.00

Vital Therapies presently has a consensus price target of $12.00, indicating a potential upside of 1,345.78%. Prothena has a consensus price target of $11.39, indicating a potential upside of 65.24%. Given Vital Therapies’ higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Vital Therapies is more favorable than Prothena.

Vital Therapies Company Profile

Vital Therapies, Inc., a biotherapeutic company, focuses on developing cell-based therapies for the treatment of acute forms of liver failure. The company was formerly known as Vitagen Acquisition Corp. and changed its name to Vital Therapies, Inc. in June 2003. Vital Therapies, Inc. was founded in 2003 and is based in San Diego, California.

Prothena Company Profile

Prothena Corporation plc, a clinical-stage neuroscience company, focuses on discovery and development of novel therapies for life-threatening diseases in the United States. The company is involved in developing PRX002/RG7935 that is in Phase II clinical trial for treating Parkinson's disease and other related synucleinopathies; and PRX004, a antibody that is in Phase I clinical trial for the treatment of ATTR amyloidosis. Its discovery-stage programs include Tau for treating Alzheimer's disease, progressive supranuclear palsy, frontotemporal dementia, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and other tauopathies; Aß, or Amyloid Beta, a protein for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease; TDP-43 for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia; and other products for neurodegeneration. The company has a license, development, and commercialization agreement with F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd and Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. to develop and commercialize antibodies that target alpha-synuclein; and a collaboration agreement with Celgene Corporation to develop antibodies. Prothena Corporation plc was founded in 2012 and is based in Dublin, Ireland.

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