Critical Survey: Vivus (VVUS) and Ocera Therapeutics (NASDAQ:OCRX)

Ocera Therapeutics (NASDAQ: OCRX) and Vivus (NASDAQ:VVUS) are both small-cap companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, earnings, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, dividends, profitability and risk.

Profitability

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This table compares Ocera Therapeutics and Vivus’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Ocera Therapeutics N/A -383.51% -134.92%
Vivus -46.67% -843.43% -10.99%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Ocera Therapeutics and Vivus’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ocera Therapeutics $610,000.00 77.79 -$26.89 million N/A N/A
Vivus $65.37 million 0.62 -$30.51 million ($0.29) -1.31

Ocera Therapeutics has higher earnings, but lower revenue than Vivus.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for Ocera Therapeutics and Vivus, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Ocera Therapeutics 0 1 2 0 2.67
Vivus 0 0 0 0 N/A

Ocera Therapeutics currently has a consensus target price of $5.25, indicating a potential upside of 193.30%. Given Ocera Therapeutics’ higher possible upside, equities analysts plainly believe Ocera Therapeutics is more favorable than Vivus.

Risk & Volatility

Ocera Therapeutics has a beta of 2.46, meaning that its share price is 146% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Vivus has a beta of 0.61, meaning that its share price is 39% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

17.7% of Ocera Therapeutics shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 24.8% of Vivus shares are owned by institutional investors. 7.2% of Ocera Therapeutics shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 4.4% of Vivus shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

Ocera Therapeutics beats Vivus on 8 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Ocera Therapeutics

Ocera Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. The Company is focused on acute and chronic orphan liver diseases. The Company is focused on the development and commercialization of its clinical candidate, OCR-002, for the treatment of hepatic encephalopathy (HE). OCR-002 is a molecule, ornithine phenylacetate, which functions as an ammonia scavenger. It is conducting a randomized, placebo-controlled double blind Phase IIb clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of intravenous administration of OCR-002 IV formulation in reducing the severity of HE symptoms among HE patients. The Company also conducted a Phase IIa investigator-sponsored trial of OCR-002 in Spain in patients with upper gastrointestinal bleeding associated with liver cirrhosis. It is developing an oral form of OCR-002 to provide continuity of care for HE patients, where the intravenous form is used for hospital-based acute care and the oral form for chronic maintenance care post discharge.

About Vivus

VIVUS, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, develops and commercializes therapies to address unmet medical needs in the United States and the European Union. The company offers Qsymia for the treatment of obesity as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adult patients with an initial body mass index of 30 or greater, or 27 or greater in the presence of at least one weight-related comorbidity, such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus or high cholesterol; and STENDRA, an oral phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. It is also developing Qsymia, which has completed Phase II studies for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea and diabetes, as well as for other obesity-related diseases, including nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension. In addition, the company is developing Tacrolimus, which has completed Phase IIa studies for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension. It has development, license and clinical trial, and commercial supply agreement with Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation for the development and commercialization of avanafil, a PDE5 inhibitor compound for the oral and local treatment of male and female sexual dysfunction. The company also has license and commercialization agreements with Berlin-Chemie AG and Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to commercialize and promote STENDRA; and with Sanofi Winthrop Industrie to commercialize and promote avanafil. VIVUS, Inc. was founded in 1991 and is headquartered in Campbell, California.

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