Esperion Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ESPR) & Axovant Gene Therapies (NASDAQ:AXGT) Financial Analysis

Esperion Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ESPR) and Axovant Gene Therapies (NASDAQ:AXGT) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, risk, profitability, institutional ownership, valuation, earnings and analyst recommendations.

Risk & Volatility

Esperion Therapeutics has a beta of 1.82, meaning that its share price is 82% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Axovant Gene Therapies has a beta of 1.54, meaning that its share price is 54% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Esperion Therapeutics and Axovant Gene Therapies’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Esperion Therapeutics -38.86% -271.49% -34.28%
Axovant Gene Therapies N/A -149.52% -75.13%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

28.5% of Axovant Gene Therapies shares are held by institutional investors. 7.7% of Esperion Therapeutics shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 4.2% of Axovant Gene Therapies shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Esperion Therapeutics and Axovant Gene Therapies’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Esperion Therapeutics $148.36 million 7.01 -$97.17 million ($3.59) -10.40
Axovant Gene Therapies N/A N/A -$72.63 million ($2.93) -1.18

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

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for Esperion Therapeutics and Axovant Gene Therapies, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Esperion Therapeutics 0 4 8 0 2.67
Axovant Gene Therapies 0 2 3 0 2.60

Esperion Therapeutics currently has a consensus target price of $81.75, indicating a potential upside of 118.88%. Axovant Gene Therapies has a consensus target price of $14.67, indicating a potential upside of 323.89%. Given Axovant Gene Therapies’ higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Axovant Gene Therapies is more favorable than Esperion Therapeutics.

Summary

Axovant Gene Therapies beats Esperion Therapeutics on 7 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Esperion Therapeutics Company Profile

Esperion Therapeutics, Inc., a lipid management company, focuses on developing and commercializing oral therapies for the treatment of patients with elevated low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). Its lead product candidate is bempedoic acid/ezetimibe combination pill, a non-statin, orally available, LDL-C lowering therapy for patients with hypercholesterolemia and with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, and/or heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia that is in Phase III long-term safety and tolerability study. Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Axovant Gene Therapies Company Profile

Axovant Gene Therapies Ltd., a clinical-stage gene therapy company, focuses on developing a pipeline of product candidates for debilitating neurological and neuromuscular diseases. The company's current pipeline of gene therapy candidates targets GM1 gangliosidosis, GM2 gangliosidosis, Parkinson's disease, oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and frontotemporal dementia. The company was formerly known as Axovant Sciences Ltd. The company was founded in 2014 and is based in New York, New York. Axovant Gene Therapies Ltd. operates as a subsidiary of Roivant Sciences Ltd.

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