Reviewing KemPharm (KMPH) and Ardelyx (ARDX)

KemPharm (NASDAQ: KMPH) and Ardelyx (NASDAQ:ARDX) are both small-cap healthcare companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, risk, analyst recommendations, profitability, institutional ownership, dividends and valuation.


This table compares KemPharm and Ardelyx’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
KemPharm N/A N/A -53.56%
Ardelyx N/A -66.87% -59.72%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for KemPharm and Ardelyx, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
KemPharm 0 0 4 0 3.00
Ardelyx 0 0 6 0 3.00

KemPharm presently has a consensus target price of $9.00, indicating a potential upside of 140.00%. Ardelyx has a consensus target price of $13.67, indicating a potential upside of 96.64%. Given KemPharm’s higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe KemPharm is more favorable than Ardelyx.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

36.0% of KemPharm shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 76.1% of Ardelyx shares are held by institutional investors. 25.4% of KemPharm shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 15.5% of Ardelyx shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares KemPharm and Ardelyx’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
KemPharm N/A N/A -$16.51 million ($2.92) -1.28
Ardelyx $24.03 million 13.75 -$112.38 million ($2.23) -3.12

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


KemPharm beats Ardelyx on 6 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

About KemPharm

KemPharm, Inc. is a clinical-stage specialty pharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in the discovery and development of prodrugs. The Company uses its Ligand Activated Therapy (LAT) platform technology to create prodrugs. The Company’s product candidate, KP201/APAP, consists of KP201, its prodrug of hydrocodone, which is combined with acetaminophen (APAP). The Company is developing KP201/APAP as an immediate release (IR), a product candidate for the short-term, or no longer than 14 days for the management of acute pain. The Company has designed KP201/APAP with abuse-deterrent properties to address the epidemic of opioid abuse in the United States. The Company also focuses on developing the pipeline of additional prodrug product candidates that targets pain and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The Company’s products include KP201/IR (APAP-free), KP511/ER, KP415, KP606/IR and KP746.

About Ardelyx

Ardelyx, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. The Company’s therapeutics focuses on addressing cardiorenal and gastrointestinal (GI) diseases. It operates through the research, development and commercialization of biopharmaceutical products segment. The Company’s products line includes cardiorenal portfolio and gastrointestinal portfolio. The Company’s cardiorenal portfolio includes two Phase III clinical product candidates, tenapanor in Phase III clinical development for treating hyperphosphatemia in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients on dialysis and RDX7675 in Phase III clinical development for treating hyperkalemia in chronic kidney disease (CKD) and heart failure patients. The cardiorenal portfolio includes tenapanor, RDX7675, RDX013 and RDX011. Its gastrointestinal portfolio is led by tenapanor for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C). The gastrointestinal portfolio includes tenapanor, RDX8940, RDX011 and RDX023.

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