Seres Therapeutics (NASDAQ: MCRB) and Verastem (NASDAQ:VSTM) are both small-cap healthcare companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, earnings, institutional ownership, valuation, dividends, risk and profitability.

Profitability

This table compares Seres Therapeutics and Verastem’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Seres Therapeutics -267.15% -82.11% -36.25%
Verastem N/A -110.32% -85.98%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Seres Therapeutics and Verastem’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Seres Therapeutics $21.77 million 18.99 -$91.57 million ($2.12) -4.81
Verastem N/A N/A -$36.44 million ($1.64) -1.84

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

Institutional and Insider Ownership

75.9% of Seres Therapeutics shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 28.7% of Verastem shares are held by institutional investors. 35.7% of Seres Therapeutics shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 6.5% of Verastem shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations for Seres Therapeutics and Verastem, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Seres Therapeutics 0 0 9 0 3.00
Verastem 0 1 7 0 2.88

Seres Therapeutics currently has a consensus price target of $18.75, suggesting a potential upside of 83.82%. Verastem has a consensus price target of $10.64, suggesting a potential upside of 253.58%. Given Verastem’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Verastem is more favorable than Seres Therapeutics.

Summary

Seres Therapeutics beats Verastem on 7 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Seres Therapeutics

Seres Therapeutics, Inc. is a microbiome therapeutics platform company. The Company is engaged in developing a class of biological drugs, which is referred as Ecobiotic microbiome therapeutics. The Company’s drugs are designed to restore health by repairing the function of a dysbiotic microbiome. The Company is focused on implementing its microbiome therapeutics platform to develop Ecobiotic microbiome therapeutics that treats dysbiosis in the colonic microbiome. SER-109 is its lead product candidate, which is designed to prevent further recurrences of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). The Company is developing additional product candidates, including SER-262 to prevent an initial recurrence of primary CDI; SER-287 and SER-301, to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including ulcerative colitis, and SER-155 to treat enteric bacterial pathogens.

About Verastem

Verastem, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company is focused on discovering and developing drugs to improve outcomes for patients with cancer. The Company operates in the segment of developing drugs for the treatment of cancer. The Company’s advanced product candidates are VS 6063, VS 4718 and VS 5584. The Company’s programs target the Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK) and the PI3K/mTOR signaling pathways. FAK is a non-receptor tyrosine kinase encoded by the PTK-2 gene that is involved in cellular adhesion and, in cancer, metastatic capability. The Company’s VS-6063 (defactinib) and VS 4718 are orally available small molecule compounds designed to inhibit FAK signaling. The Company’s VS-5584 is an orally available small molecule that inhibits both mTORC1/2 and PI3K signaling. The Company is engaged in running clinical trials in cancers where there are limited treatment options, including lung, ovarian, lymphoma, pancreatic and other advanced cancers.

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