ICON (ICLR) versus Luna Innovations (LUNA) Critical Survey

ICON (NASDAQ: ICLR) and Luna Innovations (NASDAQ:LUNA) are both medical companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, analyst recommendations, earnings, valuation, institutional ownership, dividends and profitability.

Profitability

This table compares ICON and Luna Innovations’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
ICON 16.01% 27.55% 14.86%
Luna Innovations 28.35% -0.56% -0.39%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares ICON and Luna Innovations’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
ICON $1.76 billion 3.62 $281.48 million $5.39 21.81
Luna Innovations $46.23 million 1.93 $14.61 million N/A N/A

ICON has higher revenue and earnings than Luna Innovations.

Volatility & Risk

ICON has a beta of 0.42, indicating that its stock price is 58% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Luna Innovations has a beta of 0.83, indicating that its stock price is 17% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for ICON and Luna Innovations, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
ICON 0 2 7 1 2.90
Luna Innovations 0 0 1 0 3.00

ICON presently has a consensus target price of $125.40, indicating a potential upside of 6.65%. Luna Innovations has a consensus target price of $3.25, indicating a potential upside of 1.88%. Given ICON’s higher possible upside, equities analysts clearly believe ICON is more favorable than Luna Innovations.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

91.1% of ICON shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 18.5% of Luna Innovations shares are owned by institutional investors. 44.0% of ICON shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 10.6% of Luna Innovations shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

ICON beats Luna Innovations on 10 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About ICON

ICON Public Limited Company, a clinical research organization, provides outsourced development services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries in Ireland, rest of Europe, the United States, and internationally. It specializes in the strategic development, management, and analysis of programs that support various stages of the clinical development process from compound selection to Phase I-IV clinical studies. The company's clinical development services include product development planning, strategic consulting, study protocol preparation, clinical pharmacology, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic analysis, clinical research center, investigator site, patient recruitment, study monitoring and data collection, case report form preparation, statistical analysis, patient safety and risk-based monitoring, clinical data management, strategic analysis and data operation, regulatory consulting, and medical reporting and pharmacovigilance services. Its clinical development services also comprise interactive response technologies, electronic endpoint adjudication, medical imaging, adaptive trial design and execution, medical device and biosimilar trial, functional, strategic resourcing, sample analyses, safety testing, microbiology, custom flow cytometry, biomarker development, bioanalysis, immunoassay development, patient registries, outcomes research, health economics, market access and commercialization, drug price consulting, and healthcare and scientific communication services, as well as research trials for the U.S. government agencies, electronic transmission of test results, and electronic patient reported outcomes. The company was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.

About Luna Innovations

Luna Innovations Incorporated develops, manufactures and markets fiber optic sensing and test, and measurement products. The Company is focused on bringing technology solutions to measure and monitor processes in the aerospace, automotive, energy, composite, telecommunications and defense industries. The Company operates in two business segments: Products and Licensing, and Technology Development. The Products and Licensing segment develops, manufactures and markets its suite of products, including high-speed optical receiver (HSOR), custom optoelectronic subsystems (Optoelectronics), and Terahertz (THz) products, and fiber optic sensing, as well as test and measurement products. The Technology Development segment performs applied research principally in the areas of sensing and instrumentation, advanced materials and health sciences. The Company’s HSOR transmission products are deployed in the Internet communications equipment infrastructure for high-speed bandwidth.

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