Illumina (NASDAQ: FLDM) and Fluidigm (NASDAQ:FLDM) are both medical companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, analyst recommendations, earnings, profitability, institutional ownership, dividends and risk.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

89.8% of Illumina shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 96.7% of Fluidigm shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.5% of Illumina shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 2.2% of Fluidigm shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility and Risk

Illumina has a beta of 0.97, suggesting that its share price is 3% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Fluidigm has a beta of 3.44, suggesting that its share price is 244% more volatile than the S&P 500.


This table compares Illumina and Fluidigm’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Illumina 20.88% 26.64% 14.77%
Fluidigm -53.65% -104.75% -14.50%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Illumina and Fluidigm’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Illumina $2.75 billion 19.13 $726.00 million $4.00 89.54
Fluidigm $101.94 million 3.02 -$60.53 million ($1.19) -6.61

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

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Illumina and Fluidigm, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Illumina 0 5 14 0 2.74
Fluidigm 0 1 0 0 2.00

Illumina presently has a consensus price target of $316.31, indicating a potential downside of 11.68%. Fluidigm has a consensus price target of $6.10, indicating a potential downside of 22.39%. Given Illumina’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Illumina is more favorable than Fluidigm.


Illumina beats Fluidigm on 10 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Illumina

Illumina, Inc. provides sequencing and array-based solutions for genetic analysis. The company operates in two segments, Core Illumina and Consolidated VIEs. It offers sequencing by synthesis technology that provides researchers with various applications and the ability to sequence mammalian genomes; and arrays for a range of deoxyribonucleic acid and RNA analysis applications, including single nucleotide polymorphism genotyping, copy number variations analysis, gene expression analysis, and methylation analysis, as well as allow the detection of known genetic markers on a single array. The company also provides various library preparation and sequencing kits to simplify workflows and accelerate analysis; and genome sequencing, genotyping, and noninvasive prenatal testing, as well as products support services. It serves genomic research centers, academic institutions, government laboratories, and hospitals; and pharmaceutical, biotechnology, agrigenomics, and commercial molecular diagnostic laboratories, as well as consumer genomics companies. The company markets and distributes its products directly to customers, as well as through life-science distributors. It operates in North America, Europe, Latin America, the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East, and South Africa. The company has a strategic partnership with Loxo Oncology, Inc. to develop and commercialize a multi-gene panel for broad tumor profiling; and strategic collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. Illumina, Inc. was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in San Diego, California.

About Fluidigm

Fluidigm Corporation creates, manufactures, and markets technologies and tools for life sciences research in the United States and Europe. It offers analytical systems comprising Helios system, Hyperion imaging system, and Hyperion tissue imager; and assays and reagents, including Maxpar reagents. The company also provides preparatory instruments, such as access array and Juno systems; and analytical instruments comprising Biomark HD system and EP1 system. In addition, it offers integrated fluidic circuits (IFCs), such as library preparation IFCs, Juno genotyping IFC, dynamic array IFCs, digital array IFCs, and Flex Six IFC; and assays and reagents, including delta gene and SNP type assays, access array target-specific primers and targeted sequencing prep primers, and targeted DNA Seq library assays. Further, the company offers single cell genomics that comprise C1 system, Polaris system, C1 IFCs, and Polaris IFC. It sells instruments and consumables, including IFCs, assays, and reagents to academic institutions, clinical research laboratories, and contract research organizations, as well as biopharmaceutical, biotechnology, and agricultural biotechnology companies. The company was formerly known as Mycometrix Corporation and changed its name to Fluidigm Corporation in April 2001. Fluidigm Corporation was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in South San Francisco, California.

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