Aegerion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AEGR) and Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) are both healthcare companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, analyst recommendations, profitability, earnings, risk, institutional ownership and valuation.
Valuation and Earnings
This table compares Aegerion Pharmaceuticals and Merck & Co., Inc.’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.
|Gross Revenue||Price/Sales Ratio||Net Income||Earnings Per Share||Price/Earnings Ratio|
|Merck & Co., Inc.||$39.81 billion||4.01||$3.92 billion||$1.03||56.95|
This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Aegerion Pharmaceuticals and Merck & Co., Inc., as provided by MarketBeat.
|Sell Ratings||Hold Ratings||Buy Ratings||Strong Buy Ratings||Rating Score|
|Merck & Co., Inc.||1||8||8||0||2.41|
Merck & Co., Inc. has a consensus price target of $65.71, indicating a potential upside of 12.03%. Given Merck & Co., Inc.’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Merck & Co., Inc. is more favorable than Aegerion Pharmaceuticals.
Volatility & Risk
Aegerion Pharmaceuticals has a beta of 0.5, suggesting that its stock price is 50% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Merck & Co., Inc. has a beta of 0.76, suggesting that its stock price is 24% less volatile than the S&P 500.
Insider & Institutional Ownership
84.9% of Aegerion Pharmaceuticals shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 73.6% of Merck & Co., Inc. shares are owned by institutional investors. 4.6% of Aegerion Pharmaceuticals shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.3% of Merck & Co., Inc. shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.
Merck & Co., Inc. pays an annual dividend of $1.92 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.3%. Aegerion Pharmaceuticals does not pay a dividend. Merck & Co., Inc. pays out 186.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Merck & Co., Inc. has increased its dividend for 6 consecutive years.
This table compares Aegerion Pharmaceuticals and Merck & Co., Inc.’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.
|Net Margins||Return on Equity||Return on Assets|
|Merck & Co., Inc.||11.60%||27.08%||11.41%|
Merck & Co., Inc. beats Aegerion Pharmaceuticals on 11 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.
Aegerion Pharmaceuticals Company Profile
Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development and commercialization of therapies for patients with debilitating rare diseases. It operates through pharmaceuticals segment. Its products include lomitapide and metreleptin. Lomitapide is a small molecule microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP) inhibitor. Lomitapide received marketing approval under the brand name Juxtapid (lomitapide) capsules from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an adjunct to a low-fat diet and other lipid-lowering treatments. It also received marketing authorization for lomitapide in the European Union (EU) under the brand name LOJUXTA (lomitapide) hard capsules (LOJUXTA) as a treatment for HoFH in adults. Metreleptin is a recombinant human leptin analog that exerts its function by binding to and activating the human leptin receptor. Metreleptin is marketed in the United States under the brand name MYALEPT (metreleptin) for injection (MYALEPT).
Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile
Merck & Co., Inc. is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services and Alliances. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures. Human health pharmaceutical products consist of therapeutic and preventive agents, generally sold by prescription, for the treatment of human disorders. The Company sells its human health pharmaceutical products primarily to drug wholesalers and retailers, hospitals, government agencies and managed healthcare providers, such as health maintenance organizations, pharmacy benefit managers and other institutions. Vaccine products consist of preventive pediatric, adolescent and adult vaccines, primarily administered at physician offices.
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