ViewRay (NASDAQ: VRAY) and Harvard Bioscience (NASDAQ:HBIO) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, analyst recommendations, profitability, institutional ownership, risk, dividends and earnings.

Risk and Volatility

ViewRay has a beta of -0.3, indicating that its share price is 130% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Harvard Bioscience has a beta of 1.07, indicating that its share price is 7% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

48.7% of ViewRay shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 62.2% of Harvard Bioscience shares are held by institutional investors. 62.8% of ViewRay shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 9.8% of Harvard Bioscience shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares ViewRay and Harvard Bioscience’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
ViewRay -333.93% N/A -69.60%
Harvard Bioscience -4.37% 1.45% 0.99%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares ViewRay and Harvard Bioscience’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
ViewRay $18.41 million 16.99 -$43.16 million ($1.29) -4.11
Harvard Bioscience $100.79 million 1.02 $3.21 million ($0.13) -22.69

Harvard Bioscience has higher revenue and earnings than ViewRay. Harvard Bioscience is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than ViewRay, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for ViewRay and Harvard Bioscience, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
ViewRay 0 0 4 0 3.00
Harvard Bioscience 0 0 2 0 3.00

ViewRay currently has a consensus price target of $9.50, suggesting a potential upside of 79.25%. Harvard Bioscience has a consensus price target of $5.75, suggesting a potential upside of 94.92%. Given Harvard Bioscience’s higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Harvard Bioscience is more favorable than ViewRay.

Summary

Harvard Bioscience beats ViewRay on 9 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

ViewRay Company Profile

ViewRay, Inc. designs, manufactures and markets MRIdian, the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided radiation therapy system to image and treat cancer patients simultaneously. The Company offers radiation therapy technology combined with magnetic resonance imaging. MRIdian integrates MRI technology, radiation delivery and the Company’s software to locate, target and track the position and shape of soft-tissue tumors while radiation is delivered. MRIdian delivers radiation to the tumor accurately while delivering less radiation to healthy tissue. MRIdian provides real-time imaging that defines the targeted tumor from the surrounding soft tissue and other critical organs during radiation treatment. MRIdian allows physicians to record the level of radiation exposure that the tumor has received and adapt the prescription between fractions as needed.

Harvard Bioscience Company Profile

Harvard Bioscience, Inc. is a developer, manufacturer and marketer of a range of scientific instruments, systems and lab consumables used for basic research, drug discovery, clinical and environmental testing. The Company’s products are sold to thousands of researchers in over 100 countries through its global sales organization, Websites, catalogs and through distributors. The Company’s product range is organized into three commercial product families: Cell and Animal Physiology (CAP), Lab Products and Services (LPS), and Molecular Separation and Analysis (MSA). The Company sells these products under brand names, including Harvard Apparatus, KD Scientific, Denville Scientific, AHN, Hoefer, Biochrom, BTX, Warner Instruments, MCS, HEKA, Hugo Sachs Elektronik, Panlab, Coulbourn Instruments, TBSI and CMA Microdialysis. The Company’s products consist of instruments, consumables and systems that are made up of various individual products.

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