Vitae Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: VTAE) and Alexion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALXN) are both healthcare companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, valuation, earnings, analyst recommendations, risk, institutional ownership and dividends.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

72.6% of Vitae Pharmaceuticals shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 94.2% of Alexion Pharmaceuticals shares are owned by institutional investors. 14.8% of Vitae Pharmaceuticals shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 4.4% of Alexion Pharmaceuticals 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.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Vitae Pharmaceuticals and Alexion Pharmaceuticals, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Vitae Pharmaceuticals 0 0 0 0 N/A
Alexion Pharmaceuticals 0 5 16 1 2.82

Alexion Pharmaceuticals has a consensus target price of $155.48, indicating a potential upside of 43.83%. Given Alexion Pharmaceuticals’ higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Alexion Pharmaceuticals is more favorable than Vitae Pharmaceuticals.

Profitability

This table compares Vitae Pharmaceuticals and Alexion Pharmaceuticals’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Vitae Pharmaceuticals -318,350.20% -53.70% -49.85%
Alexion Pharmaceuticals 14.57% 12.55% 8.25%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Vitae Pharmaceuticals and Alexion Pharmaceuticals’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Vitae Pharmaceuticals N/A N/A N/A ($1.92) -10.94
Alexion Pharmaceuticals $3.08 billion 7.83 $399.00 million $2.24 48.26

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

Summary

Alexion Pharmaceuticals beats Vitae Pharmaceuticals on 9 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Vitae Pharmaceuticals

Vitae Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biotechnology company. The Company is focused on discovering and developing small molecule drugs for diseases. It is engaged in developing a portfolio of product candidates through Contour, its structure-based drug discovery platform. The Company’s product candidates include VTP- 43742 for the treatment of psoriasis, as well as multiple other autoimmune disorders. The Company completed approximately two Phase I studies with VTP-43742. Its VTP-38543, a second product candidate is in a Phase IIa proof-of-concept clinical trial for the treatment of atopic dermatitis. Its VTP-36951 is for the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, or Alzheimer’s. VTP-43742, the Company’s wholly owned clinical candidate in an on-going Phase IIa proof-of-concept trial in psoriasis, is an orally active small molecule inhibitor of Retinoic acid-receptor (RAR)-Related Orphan Receptor gamma-t (RORgt) activity for the treatment of various autoimmune disorders.

About Alexion Pharmaceuticals

Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company is focused on the development and commercialization of therapeutic products. The Company’s products include Soliris (eculizumab), Strensiq (asfotase alfa) and Kanuma (sebelipase alfa). The Company’s clinical development programs include Soliris (eculizumab), cPMP (ALXN1101), SBC-103, ALXN1210 (IV) and ALXN1210 (Subcutaneous). Its Soliris is the therapeutic approved for patients with either paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) or hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS). PNH and aHUS result from chronic uncontrolled activation of the complement component of the immune system. Its Strensiq is for the treatment of patients with Hypophosphatasia (HPP). Its product, Kanuma is for the treatment of patients with Lysosomal Acid Lipase Deficiency (LAL-D). It is a recombinant form of the human LAL enzyme, which is a replacement therapy that is approved for the treatment for patients with LAL-D.

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