Vaxart (NASDAQ:VXRT) and Atara Biotherapeutics (NASDAQ:ATRA) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, valuation, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, dividends, earnings and profitability.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Vaxart and Atara Biotherapeutics’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Vaxart $4.16 million 12.62 -$18.00 million ($2.65) -0.42
Atara Biotherapeutics N/A N/A -$230.70 million ($5.27) -2.65

Vaxart has higher revenue and earnings than Atara Biotherapeutics. Atara Biotherapeutics is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Vaxart, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Vaxart and Atara Biotherapeutics’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Vaxart -222.20% -115.71% -44.73%
Atara Biotherapeutics N/A -99.70% -86.31%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for Vaxart and Atara Biotherapeutics, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Vaxart 0 0 2 0 3.00
Atara Biotherapeutics 1 3 7 0 2.55

Vaxart currently has a consensus price target of $4.00, suggesting a potential upside of 260.36%. Atara Biotherapeutics has a consensus price target of $29.88, suggesting a potential upside of 114.00%. Given Vaxart’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Vaxart is more favorable than Atara Biotherapeutics.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

55.7% of Vaxart shares are held by institutional investors. 7.3% of Vaxart shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 7.0% of Atara Biotherapeutics shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk & Volatility

Vaxart has a beta of 0.31, meaning that its share price is 69% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Atara Biotherapeutics has a beta of 2.08, meaning that its share price is 108% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Vaxart beats Atara Biotherapeutics on 9 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Vaxart Company Profile

Vaxart, Inc., a clinical-stage company, engages in the discovery and development of oral recombinant protein vaccines based on its proprietary oral vaccine platform. The company's product pipeline includes tablet vaccines that are designed to protect against norovirus, seasonal influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus. It is also developing therapeutic immune-oncology vaccines for cervical cancer and dysplasia caused by human papillomavirus. The company is headquartered in South San Francisco, California.

Atara Biotherapeutics Company Profile

Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc., an off-the-shelf T-cell immunotherapy company, develops treatments for patients with cancer, autoimmune, and viral diseases in the United States. It is developing tabelecleucel, a T-cell immunotherapy that is Phase III clinical trials for the treatment of rituximab-refractory epstein-barr virus (EBV) associated post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder, as well as other EBV associated hematologic and solid tumors, including nasopharyngeal carcinoma. The company is also developing next-generation CAR T immunotherapies for patients with hematologic malignancies and solid tumors, and autoimmune and viral diseases, including ATA2271 for mesothelin; ATA2321 for acute myeloid leukemia; and ATA2431 and ATA3219 for B-cell lymphomas, as well as ATA188 and ATA190 that are in Phase I clinical trials for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. In addition, it is developing ATA621 against the BK and JC viruses; ATA368 for patients with human papillomavirus and associated cancers; ATA520 to treat Wilms tumor 1; and ATA230 against cytomegalovirus and related diseases. The company has a license agreement with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; license, and research and development collaboration agreement with QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute; and strategic collaboration with H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center. Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc. was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in South San Francisco, California.

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