Critical Comparison: Icon (ICLR) vs. Heron Therapeutics (NASDAQ:HRTX)

Heron Therapeutics (NASDAQ: HRTX) and Icon (NASDAQ:ICLR) are both medical companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, institutional ownership, earnings, analyst recommendations, risk, dividends and valuation.


This table compares Heron Therapeutics and Icon’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Heron Therapeutics -831.89% -385.11% -141.39%
Icon 16.37% 28.42% 15.06%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and target prices for Heron Therapeutics and Icon, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Heron Therapeutics 0 0 10 0 3.00
Icon 0 2 7 1 2.90

Heron Therapeutics presently has a consensus target price of $29.90, suggesting a potential upside of 38.11%. Icon has a consensus target price of $123.80, suggesting a potential upside of 15.78%. Given Heron Therapeutics’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Heron Therapeutics is more favorable than Icon.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

98.3% of Heron Therapeutics shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 89.6% of Icon shares are owned by institutional investors. 19.9% of Heron Therapeutics shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 44.0% of Icon shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility & Risk

Heron Therapeutics has a beta of 1.87, meaning that its stock price is 87% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Icon has a beta of 0.48, meaning that its stock price is 52% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Heron Therapeutics and Icon’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Heron Therapeutics $1.28 million 1,092.65 -$173.14 million ($3.79) -5.71
Icon $1.67 billion 3.47 $262.17 million $5.15 20.76

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


Icon beats Heron Therapeutics on 9 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

Heron Therapeutics Company Profile

Heron Therapeutics, Inc. is a biotechnology company engaged in developing pharmaceutical products for patients suffering from cancer or pain. The Company’s product candidates include SUSTOL, HTX-019 and HTX-011. All of its product candidates utilize science and technology platforms, including its Biochronomer drug delivery technology. The Company’s SUSTOL (granisetron) injection, extended release is being developed for the prevention of both acute and delayed chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) associated with moderately emetogenic chemotherapy (MEC) or highly emetogenic chemotherapy (HEC). HTX-019, which is an intravenous formulation of aprepitant, a neurokinin-1 (NK1) receptor antagonist, is being developed for the prevention of CINV. HTX-011, a long-acting formulation of the local anesthetic bupivacaine in a fixed-dose combination with the anti-inflammatory meloxicam, is being developed for the prevention of post-operative pain. HTX-011 is in Phase II clinical trials.

Icon Company Profile

ICON public limited company is a contract research organization (CRO), which is engaged in providing outsourced development services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries. The Company is engaged in the strategic development, management and analysis of programs that support the various stages of the clinical development process, from compound selection to Phase I-IV clinical studies. Its services include clinical trials management, biometric activities, consulting, imaging, contract staffing, informatics and laboratory services. The Company’s information systems offerings include ICONIK, Firecrest, ADDPLAN, AptivAdvantage and Aptiv Insite. It conducts various laboratory tests on the patient’s blood, urine and other bodily fluids at appropriate intervals during the trial. The Company offers clinical development services, including investigator recruitment, patient registries, outcomes research, clinical data management, immunoassay development and others.

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