Comparing Nantkwest (NK) & AcelRx Pharmaceuticals (ACRX)

Nantkwest (NASDAQ: NK) and AcelRx Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ACRX) are both small-cap healthcare companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, risk, analyst recommendations, profitability, institutional ownership, earnings and valuation.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and price targets for Nantkwest and AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Nantkwest 1 2 1 0 2.00
AcelRx Pharmaceuticals 0 3 4 0 2.57

Nantkwest currently has a consensus price target of $5.33, indicating a potential upside of 17.22%. AcelRx Pharmaceuticals has a consensus price target of $6.83, indicating a potential upside of 236.62%. Given AcelRx Pharmaceuticals’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe AcelRx Pharmaceuticals is more favorable than Nantkwest.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

19.1% of Nantkwest shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 13.7% of AcelRx Pharmaceuticals shares are held by institutional investors. 70.2% of Nantkwest shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 28.1% of AcelRx Pharmaceuticals shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Nantkwest and AcelRx Pharmaceuticals’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Nantkwest $40,000.00 9,038.58 -$120.80 million ($1.18) -3.86
AcelRx Pharmaceuticals $17.36 million 5.89 -$43.15 million ($1.12) -1.81

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

Profitability

This table compares Nantkwest and AcelRx Pharmaceuticals’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Nantkwest -204,606.36% -36.21% -32.04%
AcelRx Pharmaceuticals -374.76% N/A -58.74%

Summary

AcelRx Pharmaceuticals beats Nantkwest on 9 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Nantkwest Company Profile

NantKwest, Inc. is a clinical-stage immunotherapy company. The Company is focused on harnessing the power of the innate immune system by using the natural killer cell to treat cancer, infectious diseases and inflammatory diseases. Its immuno-oncology NK platform has multiple modes to induce cell death against the tumor or infected cell by direct killing by binding to stress ligands expressed by the diseased cell with the release of toxic granules directly into the tumor cell; antibody mediated killing by binding to antibodies administered in combination and enhancing the cancer killing effect of the administered antibody, enabling targeted cell killing through antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), and target activated killing by binding to known or newly discovered tumor-specific antigens expressed on the surface of tumor cells and inducing cell death by the release of toxic granules directly into the tumor cell and by the release of cytokines and chemokines.

AcelRx Pharmaceuticals Company Profile

AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of therapies for the treatment of moderate-to-severe acute pain. The Company operates through the segment, which includes development and commercialization of product candidates for the treatment of pain. Its lead product candidates include ARX-04, Zalviso, which utilize sublingual sufentanil, delivered through a non-invasive route of administration, and ARX-03. ARX-04 is meant for the treatment of moderate-to-severe acute pain to be administered by a healthcare professional to a patient in medically supervised settings. Zalviso is meant for the management of moderate-to-severe acute pain in hospitalized adult patients. ARX-03 provides mild sedation, anxiety reduction and pain relief for patients undergoing painful procedures in a physician’s office. It also includes ARX-02, which is meant for the treatment of patients who suffer from breakthrough pain (BTP) due to cancer.

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