Agilent Technologies (NYSE: A) and Pacific Biosciences of California (NASDAQ:PACB) are both healthcare companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, valuation, dividends, earnings, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership and risk.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations for Agilent Technologies and Pacific Biosciences of California, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Agilent Technologies 0 3 10 0 2.77
Pacific Biosciences of California 0 2 1 0 2.33

Agilent Technologies currently has a consensus price target of $69.90, suggesting a potential downside of 1.25%. Pacific Biosciences of California has a consensus price target of $6.27, suggesting a potential upside of 138.28%. Given Pacific Biosciences of California’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Pacific Biosciences of California is more favorable than Agilent Technologies.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Agilent Technologies and Pacific Biosciences of California’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Agilent Technologies $4.47 billion 5.11 $684.00 million $2.09 33.87
Pacific Biosciences of California $90.71 million 3.37 -$74.37 million ($0.91) -2.89

Agilent Technologies has higher revenue and earnings than Pacific Biosciences of California. Pacific Biosciences of California is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Agilent Technologies, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

70.5% of Pacific Biosciences of California shares are owned by institutional investors. 17.8% of Pacific Biosciences of California 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.

Dividends

Agilent Technologies pays an annual dividend of $0.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.8%. Pacific Biosciences of California does not pay a dividend. Agilent Technologies pays out 28.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Agilent Technologies has increased its dividend for 2 consecutive years.

Volatility & Risk

Agilent Technologies has a beta of 1.28, indicating that its stock price is 28% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Pacific Biosciences of California has a beta of 1.75, indicating that its stock price is 75% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Agilent Technologies and Pacific Biosciences of California’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Agilent Technologies 15.30% 16.95% 9.43%
Pacific Biosciences of California -95.97% -97.50% -59.40%

Summary

Agilent Technologies beats Pacific Biosciences of California on 12 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Agilent Technologies Company Profile

Agilent Technologies, Inc. provides application focused solutions that include instruments, software, services and consumables for the entire laboratory workflow. The Company serves the life sciences, diagnostics and applied chemical markets. It has three business segments: life sciences and applied markets business, diagnostics and genomics business, and Agilent CrossLab business. Its life sciences and applied markets business segment offers instruments and software that enable customers to identify, quantify and analyze the physical and biological properties of substances and products, as well as enable customers in the clinical and life sciences research areas to interrogate samples at the molecular level. Its diagnostics and genomics business segment includes the reagent partnership, pathology, companion diagnostics, genomics and the nucleic acid solutions businesses. Its Agilent CrossLab business segment spans the entire lab with its consumables and services portfolio.

Pacific Biosciences of California Company Profile

Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. designs, develops and manufactures sequencing systems to help scientists resolve genetically complex problems. The Company is engaged in the development, manufacturing and marketing of an integrated platform for genetic analysis. Its Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) technology enables single molecule, real-time detection of biological processes. It offers The SMRT Cell, Phospholinked nucleotides and The PacBio RS II and Sequel instruments. Its SMRT technology enables the observation of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) synthesis as it occurs in real-time by harnessing the natural process of DNA replication, which is actuated by the DNA polymerase. Its phospholinked nucleotides have a fluorescent dye attached to the phosphate chain of the nucleotide rather than to the base. The PacBio RS II and Sequel instruments include optics, automated liquid handling, a touchscreen control interface and computational hardware and software.

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