Critical Review: Pacific Biosciences of California (PACB) vs. Harvard Bioscience (HBIO)

Pacific Biosciences of California (NASDAQ: PACB) and Harvard Bioscience (NASDAQ:HBIO) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their risk, earnings, dividends, institutional ownership, valuation, profitability and analyst recommendations.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Pacific Biosciences of California and Harvard Bioscience’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Pacific Biosciences of California $93.47 million 3.39 -$92.19 million ($0.89) -2.76
Harvard Bioscience $104.52 million 1.67 -$4.30 million ($0.09) -55.56

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

Volatility & Risk

Pacific Biosciences of California has a beta of 1.41, meaning that its stock price is 41% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Harvard Bioscience has a beta of 1.39, meaning that its stock price is 39% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for Pacific Biosciences of California and Harvard Bioscience, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Pacific Biosciences of California 0 2 1 0 2.33
Harvard Bioscience 0 0 2 0 3.00

Pacific Biosciences of California currently has a consensus price target of $6.27, indicating a potential upside of 154.74%. Harvard Bioscience has a consensus price target of $9.00, indicating a potential upside of 80.00%. Given Pacific Biosciences of California’s higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Pacific Biosciences of California is more favorable than Harvard Bioscience.

Profitability

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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Pacific Biosciences of California -98.63% -96.55% -58.68%
Harvard Bioscience -3.16% 1.11% 0.76%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

70.4% of Pacific Biosciences of California shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 61.8% of Harvard Bioscience shares are owned by institutional investors. 17.8% of Pacific Biosciences of California shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 9.8% of Harvard Bioscience shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Harvard Bioscience beats Pacific Biosciences of California on 8 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Pacific Biosciences of California

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.

About Harvard Bioscience

Harvard Bioscience, Inc. is a developer, manufacturer and marketer of a range of scientific instruments, systems and lab consumables used for basic research, drug discovery, clinical and environmental testing. The Company’s products are sold to thousands of researchers in over 100 countries through its global sales organization, Websites, catalogs and through distributors. The Company’s product range is organized into three commercial product families: Cell and Animal Physiology (CAP), Lab Products and Services (LPS), and Molecular Separation and Analysis (MSA). The Company sells these products under brand names, including Harvard Apparatus, KD Scientific, Denville Scientific, AHN, Hoefer, Biochrom, BTX, Warner Instruments, MCS, HEKA, Hugo Sachs Elektronik, Panlab, Coulbourn Instruments, TBSI and CMA Microdialysis. The Company’s products consist of instruments, consumables and systems that are made up of various individual products.

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