Alere (NYSE: ALR) and Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE:BSX) are both mid-cap medical companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, dividends, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, valuation, risk and earnings.

Profitability

This table compares Alere and Boston Scientific Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Alere -10.73% 4.54% 1.01%
Boston Scientific Corporation 9.04% 23.62% 9.01%

Risk and Volatility

Alere has a beta of 0.21, indicating that its stock price is 79% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Boston Scientific Corporation has a beta of 1.09, indicating that its stock price is 9% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations for Alere and Boston Scientific Corporation, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Alere 0 5 0 0 2.00
Boston Scientific Corporation 0 4 12 0 2.75

Alere currently has a consensus target price of $48.00, suggesting a potential downside of 3.94%. Boston Scientific Corporation has a consensus target price of $30.19, suggesting a potential upside of 9.51%. Given Boston Scientific Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Boston Scientific Corporation is more favorable than Alere.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

88.8% of Alere shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 90.5% of Boston Scientific Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 3.7% of Alere shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.7% of Boston Scientific Corporation shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Alere and Boston Scientific Corporation’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Alere $2.32 billion 1.89 $261.20 million ($2.45) -20.40
Boston Scientific Corporation $8.71 billion 4.34 $2.31 billion $0.58 47.54

Boston Scientific Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Alere. Alere is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Boston Scientific Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Boston Scientific Corporation beats Alere on 12 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Alere Company Profile

Alere Inc. is a provider of health information through diagnostic tests. The Company’s segments include professional diagnostics, consumer diagnostics, and corporate and other. The professional diagnostics segment includes an array of diagnostic test products and other in vitro diagnostic tests marketed to medical professionals and laboratories for detection of diseases and conditions within its areas of focus. The consumer diagnostics segment consists primarily of manufacturing operations related to its role as the exclusive manufacturer of products for SPD Swiss Precision Diagnostics (SPD), its joint venture with The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G). The Company’s professional diagnostic solutions allow patients and their healthcare providers to work together to manage patients’ conditions over the continuum of care, from the hospital to home. The Company offers lines of drugs-of-abuse tests, reagent systems and laboratory testing options.

Boston Scientific Corporation Company Profile

Boston Scientific Corporation is a developer, manufacturer and marketer of medical devices that are used in a range of interventional medical specialties. The Company offers its products by seven businesses: Interventional Cardiology, Cardiac Rhythm Management, Endoscopy, Peripheral Interventions, Urology and Pelvic Health, Neuromodulation, and Electrophysiology. It operates in three segments: Cardiovascular, Rhythm Management and MedSurg. Its Cardiovascular segment consists of Interventional Cardiology and Peripheral Interventions businesses. Rhythm Management consists of Cardiac Rhythm Management and Electrophysiology businesses. MedSurg consists of Endoscopy, Urology and Pelvic Health, and Neuromodulation businesses. Its Interventional Cardiology product offerings include balloon catheters, rotational atherectomy systems, guide wires, guide catheters and embolic protection devices and diagnostic catheters used in percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) procedures.

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