Comparing Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SPPI) & Akcea Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AKCA)

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

Profitability

This table compares Spectrum Pharmaceuticals and Akcea Therapeutics’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Spectrum Pharmaceuticals N/A -62.98% -47.91%
Akcea Therapeutics -8.59% -6.70% -5.92%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Spectrum Pharmaceuticals and Akcea Therapeutics’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Spectrum Pharmaceuticals $109.33 million 3.52 -$112.69 million ($1.14) -2.89
Akcea Therapeutics $488.54 million 3.07 $40.77 million $0.48 30.94

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

Insider & Institutional Ownership

65.0% of Spectrum Pharmaceuticals shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 20.6% of Akcea Therapeutics shares are held by institutional investors. 9.4% of Spectrum Pharmaceuticals shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 1.5% of Akcea Therapeutics shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for Spectrum Pharmaceuticals and Akcea Therapeutics, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Spectrum Pharmaceuticals 0 2 2 0 2.50
Akcea Therapeutics 0 1 3 0 2.75

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals presently has a consensus target price of $7.67, indicating a potential upside of 132.32%. Akcea Therapeutics has a consensus target price of $34.67, indicating a potential upside of 133.45%. Given Akcea Therapeutics’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Akcea Therapeutics is more favorable than Spectrum Pharmaceuticals.

Volatility and Risk

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals has a beta of 2.09, suggesting that its share price is 109% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Akcea Therapeutics has a beta of 1.33, suggesting that its share price is 33% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Akcea Therapeutics beats Spectrum Pharmaceuticals on 8 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Spectrum Pharmaceuticals

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. develops and commercializes oncology and hematology drug products. The company offers KHAPZORY, a novel folate analog and the pharmacologically active levo-isomer of d, and 1-leucovorin; FOLOTYN, a folate analogue metabolic inhibitor for peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL); ZEVALIN injection to treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma; MARQIBO for adult patients with Philadelphia chromosome-negative acute lymphoblastic leukemia; BELEODAQ, a histone deacytelase, or HDAC, inhibitor for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory PTCL; and EVOMELA for use as a conditioning treatment prior to autologous stem cell transplant in multiple myeloma patients. It is also developing POZIOTINIB, a pan-HER inhibitor for non-small cell lung cancer tumors; ROLONTIS for chemotherapy-induced neutropenia; and QAPZOLA for non-muscle invasive bladder cancer. The company sells its drugs through group purchasing organizations, wholesalers, and directly to hospitals and cancer centers in the United States; and through distributors in Europe. It has a strategic partnership with Servier Canada, Inc.; licensing and development agreement with Cell Therapeutics, Inc.; license agreements with Merck & Cie AG, Medac Pharma, Inc., Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, SRI International, Southern Research Institute, Medac Pharma, Inc., Cydex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Mundipharma International Corporation Limited; development and commercialization collaboration agreement with Allergan, Inc.; collaboration agreement with Nippon Kayaku Co., LTD.; licensing and collaboration agreement with Onxeo DK; and co-development and commercialization agreements with Hanmi Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The company was formerly known as NeoTherapeutics, Inc. and changed its name to Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in December 2002. Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in Henderson, Nevada.

About Akcea Therapeutics

Akcea Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, focuses on developing and commercializing drugs to treat patients with serious and rare diseases in the United States and internationally. The company offers TEGSEDI, which is designed to reduce the production of transthyretin protein. It develops WAYLIVRA, which has completed Phase III clinical study for the treatment of familial chylomicronemia syndrome; and that is in Phase III clinical study for the treatment of familial partial lipodystrophy. The company also develops AKCEA-APO(a)-LRx, which has completed Phase IIb clinical study for treating patients suffering with hyperlipoproteinemia; AKCEA-ANGPTL3-LRx that has completed Phase IIb clinical study for the treatment of multiple lipid disorders; and AKCEA-APOCIII-LRx, which is in Phase II study for the treatment of cardiovascular disease due to elevated triglyceride levels, as well as AKCEA-TTR-LRx to treat the broad population of patients with hereditary and wild-type forms of transthyretin amyloidosis. It has strategic collaboration with Novartis Pharma AG and PTC Therapeutics International Limited. The company was incorporated in 2014 and is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. Akcea Therapeutics, Inc. operates as a subsidiary of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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