CTI BioPharma Corp. (NASDAQ: CTIC) and Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND) are both medical companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, valuation, analyst recommendations, dividends, institutional ownership, risk and earnings.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for CTI BioPharma Corp. and Ligand Pharmaceuticals, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
CTI BioPharma Corp. 0 0 1 0 3.00
Ligand Pharmaceuticals 0 1 3 0 2.75

CTI BioPharma Corp. currently has a consensus target price of $7.50, indicating a potential upside of 128.66%. Ligand Pharmaceuticals has a consensus target price of $133.25, indicating a potential downside of 5.89%. Given CTI BioPharma Corp.’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities analysts plainly believe CTI BioPharma Corp. is more favorable than Ligand Pharmaceuticals.

Volatility & Risk

CTI BioPharma Corp. has a beta of 0.83, meaning that its share price is 17% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Ligand Pharmaceuticals has a beta of 1.01, meaning that its share price is 1% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

42.9% of CTI BioPharma Corp. shares are held by institutional investors. 8.1% of CTI BioPharma Corp. shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 14.7% of Ligand Pharmaceuticals shares are held 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.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares CTI BioPharma Corp. and Ligand Pharmaceuticals’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
CTI BioPharma Corp. $36.55 million 2.85 -$50.38 million ($1.91) -1.72
Ligand Pharmaceuticals $117.07 million 25.46 $60.55 million $0.36 393.32

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


This table compares CTI BioPharma Corp. and Ligand Pharmaceuticals’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
CTI BioPharma Corp. -136.76% -418.99% -73.69%
Ligand Pharmaceuticals 7.39% 5.05% 2.94%


Ligand Pharmaceuticals beats CTI BioPharma Corp. on 10 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About CTI BioPharma Corp.

CTI BioPharma Corp. (CTI) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the acquisition, development and commercialization of targeted therapies covering a spectrum of blood-related cancers to patients and healthcare providers. The Company is primarily focused on commercializing PIXUVRI in select countries in the European Union, for multiply relapsed or refractory aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). It is also engaged in evaluating pacritinib for the treatment of adult patients with myelofibrosis. Its earlier stage product candidate, tosedostat, is an oral, once-daily aminopeptidase inhibitor that has demonstrated responses in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). It also evaluates its pipeline candidate paclitaxel poliglumex (Opaxio), which targets solid tumors. It is evaluating Opaxio through cooperative group sponsored trials and investigator-sponsored trials (ISTs), such as the ongoing maintenance therapy trial in patients with ovarian cancer.

About Ligand Pharmaceuticals

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (Ligand) is a biopharmaceutical company that focuses on developing and acquiring technologies that help pharmaceutical companies discover and develop medicines. The Company is involved in the development and licensing of biopharmaceutical assets. The Company employs research technologies, such as nuclear receptor assays, high throughput computer screening, formulation science, liver targeted pro-drug technologies and antibody discovery technologies to assist companies in their work toward obtaining prescription drug approvals. As of December 31, 2016, it had partnerships and license agreements with over 85 pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and over 140 various programs under license with it were in various stages of commercialization and development. It has contributed research and technologies for approved medicines that treat cancer, osteoporosis, fungal infections and low blood platelets, among others.

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