Financial Analysis: bluebird bio (NASDAQ:BLUE) versus Nantkwest (NASDAQ:NK)

bluebird bio (NASDAQ:BLUE) and Nantkwest (NASDAQ:NK) are both medical companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, risk, earnings, dividends, valuation, analyst recommendations and institutional ownership.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares bluebird bio and Nantkwest’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
bluebird bio $44.67 million 83.17 -$789.61 million ($14.31) -3.92
Nantkwest $40,000.00 24,887.09 -$65.79 million ($0.70) -13.17

Nantkwest has lower revenue, but higher earnings than bluebird bio. Nantkwest is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than bluebird bio, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

96.4% of bluebird bio shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 9.7% of Nantkwest shares are owned by institutional investors. 3.6% of bluebird bio shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 71.7% of Nantkwest shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares bluebird bio and Nantkwest’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
bluebird bio -272.66% -47.02% -36.02%
Nantkwest -162,086.03% -52.71% -44.50%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for bluebird bio and Nantkwest, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
bluebird bio 0 4 14 0 2.78
Nantkwest 0 0 1 0 3.00

bluebird bio presently has a consensus target price of $104.15, suggesting a potential upside of 85.66%. Nantkwest has a consensus target price of $18.00, suggesting a potential upside of 95.23%. Given Nantkwest’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Nantkwest is more favorable than bluebird bio.

Volatility & Risk

bluebird bio has a beta of 2.1, suggesting that its stock price is 110% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Nantkwest has a beta of 2.43, suggesting that its stock price is 143% more volatile than the S&P 500.

About bluebird bio

bluebird bio, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company, focuses on developing transformative gene therapies for severe genetic diseases and cancer. Its product candidates in severe genetic diseases include LentiGlobin, which is in various clinical studies for the treatment of transfusion-dependent Ã-thalassemia and severe sickle cell disease; and Lenti-D that is in Phase II/III clinical trials for the treatment of cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy, a rare hereditary neurological disorder. The company's product candidates in oncology include bb2121 and bb21217, which are chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR T) cell product candidates for the treatment of multiple myeloma. It has a strategic collaboration with Celgene Corporation to discover, develop, and commercialize disease-altering gene therapies in oncology; and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to discover, develop, and commercialize various immune cell therapies for cancer. The company also has collaborations with Medigene AG to discover T cell receptor (TCR) product candidates in the field of cancer; Gritstone Oncology, Inc. to discover TCR product candidates in the field of cancer; TC BioPharm Limited to research and develop gamma delta CAR T cells directed at hematologic and solid tumor targets; and Novo Nordisk A/S to develop in vivo genome editing treatments for genetic diseases. The company was formerly known as Genetix Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and changed its name to bluebird bio, Inc. in September 2010. bluebird bio, Inc. was founded in 1992 and is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

About Nantkwest

NantKwest, Inc., a clinical-stage immunotherapy company, develops immunotherapeutic treatments for cancer and viral infectious diseases in the United States. The company develops activated natural killer (aNK) cell, a natural killer cell-line and genetically modified derivative capable of killing cancer and virally infected cells; and NANT cancer vaccine, a personalized therapy that utilizes its off-the-shelf natural killer cells. It is also developing high-affinity natural killer (haNK) product candidates primarily for the treatment of various cancers; and tank and t-haNK product candidates to treat solid tumors. NantKwest, Inc. has a co-development agreement with Altor BioScience, LLC to collaborate on the development of therapeutic applications combining the company's proprietary natural killer cells with Altor's ALT-801 and/or ALT-803 products. The company was formerly known as Conkwest, Inc. and changed its name to NantKwest, Inc. in July 2015. NantKwest, Inc. was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in San Diego, California.

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