AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) and Amphastar Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AMPH) are both healthcare companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, risk, earnings, dividends, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership and profitability.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

14.8% of AstraZeneca shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 44.1% of Amphastar Pharmaceuticals shares are owned by institutional investors. 11.1% of Amphastar Pharmaceuticals shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.


AstraZeneca pays an annual dividend of $1.37 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.1%. Amphastar Pharmaceuticals does not pay a dividend. AstraZeneca pays out 97.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares AstraZeneca and Amphastar Pharmaceuticals’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
AstraZeneca $23.00 billion 3.70 $3.50 billion $1.40 24.04
Amphastar Pharmaceuticals $255.16 million 3.54 $10.53 million N/A N/A

AstraZeneca has higher revenue and earnings than Amphastar Pharmaceuticals.

Volatility & Risk

AstraZeneca has a beta of 0.76, suggesting that its stock price is 24% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Amphastar Pharmaceuticals has a beta of 1.69, suggesting that its stock price is 69% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and price targets for AstraZeneca and Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
AstraZeneca 1 6 11 0 2.56
Amphastar Pharmaceuticals 0 2 4 0 2.67

AstraZeneca presently has a consensus price target of $36.60, suggesting a potential upside of 8.77%. Amphastar Pharmaceuticals has a consensus price target of $19.20, suggesting a potential downside of 2.24%. Given AstraZeneca’s higher probable upside, research analysts plainly believe AstraZeneca is more favorable than Amphastar Pharmaceuticals.


This table compares AstraZeneca and Amphastar Pharmaceuticals’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
AstraZeneca 15.90% 34.02% 8.37%
Amphastar Pharmaceuticals 0.12% 2.30% 1.74%


AstraZeneca beats Amphastar Pharmaceuticals on 9 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

AstraZeneca Company Profile

AstraZeneca PLC (AstraZeneca) is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company focuses on discovery and development of products, which are then manufactured, marketed and sold. The Company focuses on three main therapy areas: Oncology, Cardiovascular & Metabolic Disease (CVMD) and Respiratory, while selectively pursuing therapies in Autoimmunity, Infection and Neuroscience. In CVMD, it is expanding its portfolio into the cardiovascular-renal area with late-stage assets, such as ZS-9 and roxadustat, as well as investing to explore the benefits of its SGLT2 and GLP-1 franchises in chronic kidney disease (CKD) and heart failure (HF). The Company has approximately 40 projects in Phase I, including 29 new molecular entities (NMEs), and 11 oncology combination projects. It has approximately 40 projects in Phase II, including 25 NMEs; four significant additional indications for projects that have reached phase II, and seven oncology combination projects.

Amphastar Pharmaceuticals Company Profile

Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a specialty pharmaceutical company. The Company focuses primarily on developing, manufacturing, marketing and selling generic and injectable, inhalation and intranasal products. The Company has two segments: finished pharmaceutical products and active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) products. The finished pharmaceutical products segment manufactures, markets and distributes enoxaparin, Cortrosyn, Amphadase, naloxone, lidocaine jelly, as well as various other critical and non-critical care drugs. The API segment manufactures and distributes recombinant human insulin and porcine insulin. The Company also manufactures and sells insulin API. As of December 31, 2016, the Company manufactured and sold 19 products. As of December 31, 2016, the Company developed a portfolio of 15 generic abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) three generic biosimilar product candidates and six injectable and inhalation product candidates.

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