Financial Analysis: NanoString Technologies (NASDAQ:NSTG) vs. Neuralstem (NASDAQ:CUR)

NanoString Technologies (NASDAQ:NSTG) and Neuralstem (NASDAQ:CUR) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, dividends, analyst recommendations, profitability, risk, valuation and earnings.

Profitability

This table compares NanoString Technologies and Neuralstem’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
NanoString Technologies -55.26% -75.15% -26.90%
Neuralstem -39,417.64% -170.51% -110.16%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for NanoString Technologies and Neuralstem, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
NanoString Technologies 0 1 3 0 2.75
Neuralstem 0 0 0 0 N/A

NanoString Technologies presently has a consensus price target of $38.00, indicating a potential downside of 14.38%. Given NanoString Technologies’ higher possible upside, equities research analysts plainly believe NanoString Technologies is more favorable than Neuralstem.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares NanoString Technologies and Neuralstem’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
NanoString Technologies $125.57 million 13.43 -$40.70 million ($1.93) -22.99
Neuralstem $260,000.00 5.08 -$4.93 million N/A N/A

Neuralstem has lower revenue, but higher earnings than NanoString Technologies.

Risk & Volatility

NanoString Technologies has a beta of 1.4, indicating that its stock price is 40% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Neuralstem has a beta of 1.81, indicating that its stock price is 81% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

38.3% of Neuralstem shares are owned by institutional investors. 4.2% of NanoString Technologies shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 5.4% of Neuralstem shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

NanoString Technologies beats Neuralstem on 7 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

About NanoString Technologies

NanoString Technologies, Inc. provides life science tools for translational research and molecular diagnostic products worldwide. The company offers nCounter Analysis System, an automated, multi-application, digital detection, and counting system. It provides nCounter MAX and FLEX systems that include Prep Station, an automated liquid handling component that processes and prepares samples for data collection; and nCounter Digital Analyzer, which collects data from samples by taking images of the immobilized fluorescent reporters in the sample cartridge and processing the data into output files. The company also offers nCounter SPRINT Profiler, an instrument that provides liquid handling steps and the digital analysis through use of a microfluidic cartridge; and nSolver Analysis Software, a data analysis program that enables researchers to check, normalize, and analyze their data. In addition, it provides custom CodeSets; and Pan Cancer and 360 gene expression, CAR-T characterization, protein immune profiling, neuropathology and neuro-inflammation gene expression, Mouse-AD, autoimmune disease gene expression, miRNA expression, and other gene expression panels. Further, the company offers nCounter based reagents that allow users to design customized assays; Master Kits, such as ancillary reagents and plasticware to setup and process samples in the nCounter Prep Station and nCounter Digital Analyzer; and nCounter Dx Analysis System and Prosigna molecular diagnostic test kits. The company is also developing GeoMx DSP system to enable the field of spatial genomics; and Hyb & Seq molecular profiling system to determine and analyze gene sequences within biological samples. It has collaboration with Celgene Corporation; Merck & Co., Inc.; Medivation, Inc.; and Astellas Pharma, Inc, as well as strategic partnership with Bio-Techne Corp. The company was founded in 2003 and is headquartered in Seattle, Washington.

About Neuralstem

Neuralstem, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, focuses on the research and development of nervous system therapies based on its proprietary human neuronal stem cells and small molecule compounds. The company's stem cell based technology enables the isolation and expansion of human neural stem cells from various areas of the developing human brain and spinal cord enabling the generation of physiologically relevant human neurons of various types. Its lead product candidate is NSI-189, a chemical entity, which has been completed Phase II clinical trial for the treatment of major depressive disorder, as well as is in preclinical study for the treatment-refractory depression, Angelman Syndrome, Alzheimer's disease, ischemic stroke, diabetic neuropathy, irradiation-induced cognitive deficit, and long-term potentiation enhancement. The company also develops NSI-566, which has completed Phase II clinical trial for treating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis disease; Phase II clinical trial for the treatment of chronic ischemic stroke; and Phase I clinical trials for the treatment of chronic spinal cord injury, as well as is in preclinical study for the traumatic brain injury. In addition, it develops NSI-532, which is in preclinical study for treatment of Alzheimer's disease; and NSI-777 that is in preclinical study for treatment of human demyelinating diseases. Neuralstem, Inc. was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Germantown, Maryland.

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