Lipocine (LPCN) versus Retrophin (RTRX) Critical Review

Lipocine (NASDAQ: LPCN) and Retrophin (NASDAQ:RTRX) are both small-cap healthcare companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, dividends, risk, profitability, valuation and earnings.

Risk and Volatility

Lipocine has a beta of -0.51, suggesting that its stock price is 151% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Retrophin has a beta of 1.26, suggesting that its stock price is 26% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

22.1% of Lipocine shares are owned by institutional investors. 11.3% of Lipocine shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 2.9% of Retrophin shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.


This table compares Lipocine and Retrophin’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Lipocine N/A -74.63% -68.41%
Retrophin -33.79% -10.13% -5.94%

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Lipocine and Retrophin’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Lipocine N/A N/A -$18.97 million ($0.96) -1.28
Retrophin $133.59 million 6.25 -$47.90 million ($1.32) -16.08

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

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for Lipocine and Retrophin, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Lipocine 0 1 3 0 2.75
Retrophin 0 0 2 0 3.00

Lipocine currently has a consensus target price of $13.50, indicating a potential upside of 997.56%. Retrophin has a consensus target price of $44.00, indicating a potential upside of 107.25%. Given Lipocine’s higher possible upside, research analysts plainly believe Lipocine is more favorable than Retrophin.


Lipocine beats Retrophin on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Lipocine Company Profile

Lipocine Inc. is a specialty pharmaceutical company. The Company is focused on applying its oral drug delivery technology for the development of pharmaceutical products in the area of men’s and women’s health. Its primary development programs are based on oral delivery solutions for bioavailable drugs. Its lead product candidate, LPCN 1021, is an oral testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), designed for twice-a-day dosing and is in Phase III testing. The Company’s additional pipeline candidates include LPCN 1111, an oral testosterone therapy product targeted for once daily dosing, which is in Phase II testing, and LPCN 1107, an oral therapy for the prevention of preterm birth, which is in Phase I testing. These products are based on its Lip’ral promicellar drug delivery technology platform. Lip’ral promicellar technology is a technology based on lipidic compositions, which form an optimal dispersed phase in the gastrointestinal environment for improved absorption of insoluble drugs.

Retrophin Company Profile

Retrophin, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company is focused on the development, acquisition and commercialization of therapies for the treatment of serious, catastrophic or rare diseases. The Company sells three products, including Chenodal (chenodeoxycholic acid), Cholbam (cholic acid) and Thiola (tiopronin). Its Chenodal is approved in the United States for the treatment of patients suffering from gallstones in whom surgery poses an unacceptable health risk due to disease or advanced age. Chenodal has also been care for cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis (CTX) patients. Its Cholbam is approved in the United States for the treatment of bile acid synthesis disorders due to single enzyme defects and is further indicated for adjunctive treatment of patients with peroxisomal disorders. Its Thiola is approved in the United States for the prevention of cystine (kidney) stone formation in patients with severe homozygous cystinuria.

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