Analyzing Synlogic (SYBX) and Ocera Therapeutics (OCRX)

Ocera Therapeutics (NASDAQ: OCRX) and Synlogic (NASDAQ:SYBX) are both small-cap healthcare companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, risk, valuation, analyst recommendations, dividends, earnings and profitability.

Profitability

This table compares Ocera Therapeutics and Synlogic’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Ocera Therapeutics N/A -383.51% -134.92%
Synlogic N/A -50.19% -46.76%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for Ocera Therapeutics and Synlogic, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Ocera Therapeutics 0 1 2 0 2.67
Synlogic 0 1 3 0 2.75

Ocera Therapeutics currently has a consensus price target of $5.25, indicating a potential upside of 193.30%. Synlogic has a consensus price target of $18.75, indicating a potential upside of 73.13%. Given Ocera Therapeutics’ higher possible upside, research analysts plainly believe Ocera Therapeutics is more favorable than Synlogic.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

17.7% of Ocera Therapeutics shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 64.2% of Synlogic shares are held by institutional investors. 7.2% of Ocera Therapeutics shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 18.6% of Synlogic shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Ocera Therapeutics and Synlogic’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ocera Therapeutics $610,000.00 77.79 -$26.89 million ($0.97) -1.85
Synlogic N/A N/A -$26.26 million ($9.43) -1.15

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

Volatility & Risk

Ocera Therapeutics has a beta of 2.46, suggesting that its stock price is 146% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Synlogic has a beta of 2.91, suggesting that its stock price is 191% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Synlogic beats Ocera Therapeutics on 9 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Ocera Therapeutics

Ocera Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. The Company is focused on acute and chronic orphan liver diseases. The Company is focused on the development and commercialization of its clinical candidate, OCR-002, for the treatment of hepatic encephalopathy (HE). OCR-002 is a molecule, ornithine phenylacetate, which functions as an ammonia scavenger. It is conducting a randomized, placebo-controlled double blind Phase IIb clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of intravenous administration of OCR-002 IV formulation in reducing the severity of HE symptoms among HE patients. The Company also conducted a Phase IIa investigator-sponsored trial of OCR-002 in Spain in patients with upper gastrointestinal bleeding associated with liver cirrhosis. It is developing an oral form of OCR-002 to provide continuity of care for HE patients, where the intravenous form is used for hospital-based acute care and the oral form for chronic maintenance care post discharge.

About Synlogic

Synlogic, Inc., formerly Mirna Therapeutics, Inc., is engaged in the development of a novel class of living treatments, Synthetic Biotic medicines. The Company uses its proprietary Synthetic Biotic development platform. Its pipeline includes Synthetic Biotic medicines for the treatment of rare genetic diseases, such as Urea Cycle Disorder (UCD) and Phenylketonuria (PKU). It is also focused on Synthetic Biotic medicines to address other conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease , cancer and metabolic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity. The Company’s synthetic biotic medicines leverages the tools and principles of synthetic biology to genetically reengineer probiotic microbes to perform or deliver critical functions missing or damaged due to disease. The Company’s pipeline includes synthetic biotic medicines for the treatment of inborn errors of metabolism (IEM). It is developing SYNB1020 for the treatment of UCD and HE. It is developing SYNB1618 for the treatment of PKU.

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