Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) and AC Immune (NASDAQ:ACIU) are both medical companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, valuation, risk, institutional ownership, earnings, analyst recommendations and dividends.

Volatility & Risk

Vertex Pharmaceuticals has a beta of 1.49, meaning that its share price is 49% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, AC Immune has a beta of 0.32, meaning that its share price is 68% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and recommmendations for Vertex Pharmaceuticals and AC Immune, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Vertex Pharmaceuticals 0 6 19 0 2.76
AC Immune 0 1 1 0 2.50

Vertex Pharmaceuticals presently has a consensus target price of $221.81, suggesting a potential upside of 0.83%. AC Immune has a consensus target price of $13.50, suggesting a potential upside of 64.63%. Given AC Immune’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe AC Immune is more favorable than Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

Profitability

This table compares Vertex Pharmaceuticals and AC Immune’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Vertex Pharmaceuticals 59.24% 20.33% 14.49%
AC Immune 45.19% 19.18% 16.86%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

94.9% of Vertex Pharmaceuticals shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 27.8% of AC Immune shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.7% of Vertex Pharmaceuticals 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.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Vertex Pharmaceuticals and AC Immune’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Vertex Pharmaceuticals $3.05 billion 18.56 $2.10 billion $2.83 77.73
AC Immune $7.36 million 75.27 -$52.09 million ($0.82) -10.00

Vertex Pharmaceuticals has higher revenue and earnings than AC Immune. AC Immune is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Vertex Pharmaceuticals, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Vertex Pharmaceuticals beats AC Immune on 11 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated engages in developing and commercializing therapies for treating cystic fibrosis. The company markets SYMDEKO/SYMKEVI, ORKAMBI, and KALYDECO to treat patients with cystic fibrosis who have specific mutations in their cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator gene. It is also developing VX-659 and VX-445 that are Phase III clinical trials; VX-121, a cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator corrector that is in Phase I/II clinical trial; VX-150, an inhibitor that is in Phase IIb clinical trial for acute pain; CTX001 that is in Phase I/II clinical trial for the treatment of beta-thalassemia and sickle cell diseases; and a novel drug candidate, which is in Phase I clinical trial for the treatment for alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. The company sells its products primarily to specialty pharmacy and specialty distributors in the United States, as well as specialty distributors and retail chains, and hospitals and clinics internationally. Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated has collaborations with CRISPR Therapeutics AG; Arbor Biotechnologies, Inc.; Moderna Therapeutics, Inc.; Genomics plc; Merck KGaA; Darmstadt, Germany; X-Chem, Inc.; Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Merck KGaA; and Kymera Therapeutics. The company was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts.

About AC Immune

AC Immune SA, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, discovers, designs, and develops therapeutic and diagnostic products for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases associated with protein misfolding. Its SupraAntigen and Morphomer platforms are designed to generate vaccines, antibodies, and small molecules, which selectively interact with misfolded proteins that are common in a range of neurodegenerative diseases. The company's lead product candidate is crenezumab, a humanized, monoclonal, and conformation-specific anti-Abeta antibody, which is in Phase III clinical studies for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD). It is also developing ACI-24, an anti-Abeta vaccine candidate that is in Phase I/IIa clinical study for AD; and ACI-35, an anti-Tau vaccine candidate against phosphorylated pathological tau and is in Phase Ib clinical testing in patients with mild to moderate AD, as well as RO7105705, an anti-Tau monoclonal antibody candidate, which is in Phase II clinical study for AD patients. In addition, the company has discovery and pre-clinical stage molecules targeting neurodegenerative diseases, as well as diagnostics targeting Tau, alpha-synuclein, and TDP-43 aggregates. It has license agreements and collaborations with Genentech, Inc.; Biogen International GmbH; Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Piramal Imaging; Eli Lilly and Company; Essex Bio-Technology Limited; and WuXi Biologics, as well as Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences. AC Immune SA was founded in 2003 and is headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland.



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