Analyzing aTyr Pharma (LIFE) and La Jolla Pharmaceutical (LJPC)

aTyr Pharma (NASDAQ:LIFE) and La Jolla Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ:LJPC) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, analyst recommendations, earnings, institutional ownership, valuation, profitability and risk.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

45.6% of aTyr Pharma shares are held by institutional investors. 25.0% of aTyr Pharma shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 25.3% of La Jolla Pharmaceutical shares are held 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.

Profitability

This table compares aTyr Pharma and La Jolla Pharmaceutical’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
aTyr Pharma N/A -78.13% -53.62%
La Jolla Pharmaceutical N/A -188.04% -94.34%

Risk & Volatility

aTyr Pharma has a beta of 2.88, suggesting that its stock price is 188% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, La Jolla Pharmaceutical has a beta of 1.25, suggesting that its stock price is 25% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations for aTyr Pharma and La Jolla Pharmaceutical, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
aTyr Pharma 1 2 1 0 2.00
La Jolla Pharmaceutical 2 0 4 0 2.33

aTyr Pharma presently has a consensus price target of $1.18, suggesting a potential upside of 123.27%. La Jolla Pharmaceutical has a consensus price target of $51.00, suggesting a potential upside of 218.75%. Given La Jolla Pharmaceutical’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe La Jolla Pharmaceutical is more favorable than aTyr Pharma.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares aTyr Pharma and La Jolla Pharmaceutical’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
aTyr Pharma N/A N/A -$48.20 million ($1.87) -0.28
La Jolla Pharmaceutical $620,000.00 676.90 -$114.80 million ($5.41) -2.96

aTyr Pharma has higher earnings, but lower revenue than La Jolla Pharmaceutical. La Jolla Pharmaceutical is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than aTyr Pharma, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

aTyr Pharma beats La Jolla Pharmaceutical on 7 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

aTyr Pharma Company Profile

aTyr Pharma, Inc., a clinical stage biotechnology company, engages in the discovery and development of medicines for the treatment of cancer and lung disease in the United States. The company's therapeutic candidate pipeline that includes ATYR1923 candidate, an agonist of the Resokine pathway that is in Phase I clinical trial designed to temper immune engagement in interstitial lung diseases; and ORCA program, a preclinical research stage program that targets immuno-oncology pathway using antibodies to enhance the immune response in tumor settings. It is also developing ATYR1940, a therapeutic candidate based on a protein naturally secreted from muscle for the treatment of facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, limb-girdle muscular dystrophy, and duchenne muscular dystrophy. aTyr Pharma, Inc. was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in San Diego, California.

La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company Profile

La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company, a biopharmaceutical company, focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialization of therapeutics for life-threatening diseases. It offers GIAPREZA, an injection for intravenous infusion indicated to increase blood pressure in adults with septic or other distributive shock. The company is developing LJPC-401, a formulation of synthetic human hepcidin for the treatment of conditions characterized by iron overload, such as hereditary hemochromatosis, beta thalassemia, sickle cell disease, and myelodysplastic syndrome. La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in San Diego, California.

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