Portola Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: PTLA) and INC Research Holdings (NASDAQ:INCR) are both mid-cap medical companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, valuation, profitability, dividends, risk and earnings.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

86.5% of Portola Pharmaceuticals shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 99.8% of INC Research Holdings shares are held by institutional investors. 4.9% of Portola Pharmaceuticals shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 0.2% of INC Research Holdings shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility and Risk

Portola Pharmaceuticals has a beta of 1.32, suggesting that its stock price is 32% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, INC Research Holdings has a beta of 1.42, suggesting that its stock price is 42% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Portola Pharmaceuticals and INC Research Holdings’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Portola Pharmaceuticals $31.93 million 101.64 -$251.01 million ($4.55) -12.37
INC Research Holdings $1.03 billion 2.97 $226.74 million $1.61 35.09

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

Profitability

This table compares Portola Pharmaceuticals and INC Research Holdings’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Portola Pharmaceuticals -807.93% -145.12% -78.93%
INC Research Holdings 5.69% 40.69% 9.87%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for Portola Pharmaceuticals and INC Research Holdings, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Portola Pharmaceuticals 0 1 7 0 2.88
INC Research Holdings 0 4 4 0 2.50

Portola Pharmaceuticals currently has a consensus price target of $65.83, suggesting a potential upside of 16.97%. INC Research Holdings has a consensus price target of $64.58, suggesting a potential upside of 14.31%. Given Portola Pharmaceuticals’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, research analysts plainly believe Portola Pharmaceuticals is more favorable than INC Research Holdings.

Summary

INC Research Holdings beats Portola Pharmaceuticals on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Portola Pharmaceuticals Company Profile

Portola Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company is focused on the development and commercialization of therapeutics in the areas of thrombosis, other hematologic disorders and inflammation for patients having limited or no approved treatment options. The Company’s two lead programs, Betrixaban and Andexanet alfa, address unmet medical needs in the area of thrombosis, or blood clots. Its third product candidate is Cerdulatinib. The Company’s Syk is a mediator of immune response in various types of immune cells. The Company has a program of selective Syk inhibitors, one of which is partnered with Ora Inc. Betrixaban is an oral once-daily inhibitor of Factor Xa in development for extended duration venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis in acute medically ill patients. Andexanet alfa is an orphan drug, which is a recombinant protein designed to reverse anticoagulant activity in patients treated with an fXa inhibitor.

INC Research Holdings Company Profile

INC Research Holdings, Inc. is a global contract research organization (CRO). The Company focuses on Phase I to Phase IV clinical development services for the biopharmaceutical and medical device industries. The Company operates through two segments: Clinical Development Services and Phase I Services. The Company’s Clinical Development Services segment offers a range of clinical development services, including full-service global studies, as well as ancillary services, such as clinical monitoring, investigator recruitment, patient recruitment, data management, study reports to assist customers with their drug development process, quality assurance audits and specialized consulting services. The Phase I Services segment focuses on clinical development services for Phase I trials, which include scientific exploratory medicine, first-in-human studies through proof-of-concept stages and support for Phase I studies in established compounds.

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