Sunesis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SNSS) and Adamas Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ADMS) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, dividends, risk, earnings, analyst recommendations, valuation and profitability.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations for Sunesis Pharmaceuticals and Adamas Pharmaceuticals, as reported by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Sunesis Pharmaceuticals 0 2 0 0 2.00
Adamas Pharmaceuticals 0 0 6 0 3.00

Sunesis Pharmaceuticals currently has a consensus target price of $3.00, indicating a potential upside of 35.14%. Adamas Pharmaceuticals has a consensus target price of $39.50, indicating a potential upside of 107.68%. Given Adamas Pharmaceuticals’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Adamas Pharmaceuticals is more favorable than Sunesis Pharmaceuticals.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

57.5% of Sunesis Pharmaceuticals shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 69.4% of Adamas Pharmaceuticals shares are owned by institutional investors. 10.2% of Sunesis Pharmaceuticals shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 29.0% of Adamas Pharmaceuticals shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk and Volatility

Sunesis Pharmaceuticals has a beta of 1.52, indicating that its share price is 52% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Adamas Pharmaceuticals has a beta of 0.78, indicating that its share price is 22% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Sunesis Pharmaceuticals and Adamas Pharmaceuticals’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Sunesis Pharmaceuticals $1.96 million 26.63 -$34.64 million ($1.94) -1.14
Adamas Pharmaceuticals $177,000.00 2,419.30 -$66.61 million ($2.99) -6.36

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


This table compares Sunesis Pharmaceuticals and Adamas Pharmaceuticals’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Sunesis Pharmaceuticals -1,472.94% N/A -112.07%
Adamas Pharmaceuticals N/A -52.91% -45.76%


Adamas Pharmaceuticals beats Sunesis Pharmaceuticals on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Sunesis Pharmaceuticals Company Profile

Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company focuses on the development and commercialization of its pipeline of oncology therapeutics for the treatment of solid and hematologic cancers. The Company offers QINPREZO (vosaroxin), which is a product candidate for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Vosaroxin is an anticancer quinolone derivative (AQD). The Company’s other kinase inhibitor pipeline include TAK-580, SNS-062 and SNS-229. TAK-580 is an oral, investigative drug selective for pan-Raf kinase inhibition, in patients with relapsed or refractory solid tumors. SNS-062 is a non-covalently binding inhibitor of Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK). The Company has completed the pre-clinical studies for SNS-062. SNS-229 and SNS-510 are two PDK1 inhibitors. PDK1 is a kinase and mediator of Phosphoinositide 3-kinase/AKT (PI3K/AKT) signaling, which is a pathway involved in cell growth, differentiation, survival and migration.

Adamas Pharmaceuticals Company Profile

Adamas Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a pharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in developing medicines to manage the daily lives of those affected by chronic neurologic disorders. It offers a platform based on an understanding of time dependent biologic effects of disease activity and drug response to achieve relief without tolerability issues. It has developed a portfolio of chrono-synchronous therapies to address chronic neurologic disorders. Its first product candidate is ADS-5102, a chrono-synchronous amantadine therapy, for the treatment of levodopa-induced dyskinesia (LID) in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). It has completed Phase II proof-of-concept study of ADS-5102 in these patients. Its Phase III clinical program included three placebo-controlled trials: EASED, EASE LID and EASE LID 3. Its second product candidate is ADS-4101, an extended-release version of single-agent compound for the treatment of epilepsy (partial onset seizures).

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