Flamel Technologies (NASDAQ: AVDL) and Acura Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ACUR) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, valuation, dividends, profitability, institutional ownership, risk and analyst recommendations.

Volatility & Risk

Flamel Technologies has a beta of 1.37, suggesting that its stock price is 37% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Acura Pharmaceuticals has a beta of 2.12, suggesting that its stock price is 112% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Flamel Technologies and Acura Pharmaceuticals’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Flamel Technologies 21.13% 29.86% 6.34%
Acura Pharmaceuticals 14.91% 112.19% 19.04%

Insider & Institutional Ownership

66.8% of Flamel Technologies shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 31.2% of Acura Pharmaceuticals shares are held by institutional investors. 5.1% of Flamel Technologies shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 7.4% of Acura Pharmaceuticals shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Flamel Technologies and Acura Pharmaceuticals, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Flamel Technologies 0 0 3 0 3.00
Acura Pharmaceuticals 0 0 2 0 3.00

Flamel Technologies currently has a consensus price target of $15.67, indicating a potential upside of 78.64%. Acura Pharmaceuticals has a consensus price target of $8.00, indicating a potential upside of 1,768.77%. Given Acura Pharmaceuticals’ higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Acura Pharmaceuticals is more favorable than Flamel Technologies.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Flamel Technologies and Acura Pharmaceuticals’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Flamel Technologies $173.99 million 2.02 $64.86 million $0.84 10.44
Acura Pharmaceuticals $6.96 million N/A -$2.50 million ($0.83) -0.52

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

Summary

Flamel Technologies beats Acura Pharmaceuticals on 6 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Flamel Technologies

Flamel Technologies S.A. is a specialty pharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in the development and commercialization of pharmaceutical products, including controlled-release therapeutic products based on its polymer based technology. The Company has a balanced business model consisting of an Unapproved Marketed Drugs (UMDs) business with over two approved products in the United States, Bloxiverz (neostigmine methylsulfate injection) and Vazculep (phenylephrine hydrochloride injection) that are marketed; a branded pediatric business, and a branded business, focusing on the development of products utilizing Flamel’s drug delivery platforms. The Company owns and develops drug delivery platforms, including Micropump, LiquiTime, Trigger Lock and Medusa. The Company has two direct operating subsidiaries: Flamel US Holdings, Inc. and Flamel Irish Holdings, Ltd.

About Acura Pharmaceuticals

Acura Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a pharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in the research, development and commercialization of technologies and products intended to address medication abuse and misuse. The Company has discovered and developed three platform technologies, which can be used to develop multiple products. The Company’s Oxaydo Tablets (oxycodone HCl, CII), which utilizes the Aversion Technology, is an approved and immediate-release (IR) oxycodone product in the United States. The Company’s Impede technology products include Nexafed and Nexafed Sinus Pressure + Pain. Its third deterrent technology is Limitx, which is designed to retard the release of active drug ingredients when too many tablets are accidently or purposefully ingested. The Company’s Aversion and Limitx technologies are intended to address methods associated with opioid and its Impede technology is directed at the extraction and conversion of pseudoephedrine into methamphetamine.

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