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Choosing Between Hot Stocks: Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. (PACB), Casa Systems, Inc. (CASA)

The shares of Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. have decreased by more than -17.42% this year alone. The shares recently went down by -5.22% or -$0.12 and now trades at $2.18. The shares of Casa Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CASA), has jumped by 57.43% year to date as of 03/28/2018. The shares currently trade at $27.96 and have been able to report a change of -11.01% over the past one week.

The stock of Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. and Casa Systems, Inc. were two of the most active stocks on Wednesday. Investors seem to be very interested in what happens to the stocks of these two companies but do investors favor one over the other? We will analyze the growth, profitability, risk, valuation, and insider trends of both companies and see which one investors prefer.

Profitability and Returns

Growth alone cannot be used to see if the company will be valuable. Shareholders will be the losers if a company invest in ventures that aren’t profitable enough to support upbeat growth. In order for us to accurately measure profitability and return, we will be using the EBITDA margin and Return on Investment (ROI), which balances the difference in capital structure. The ROI of PACB is -90.10% while that of CASA is 33.30%. These figures suggest that CASA ventures generate a higher ROI than that of PACB.



Cash Flow 

The value of a stock is ultimately determined by the amount of cash flow that the investors have available. Over the last 12 months, PACB’s free cash flow per share is a negative -0.03.

Liquidity and Financial Risk




The ability of a company to meet up with its short-term obligations and be able to clear its longer-term debts is measured using Liquidity and leverage ratios. The current ratio for PACB is 3.50 and that of CASA is 4.20. This implies that it is easier for PACB to cover its immediate obligations over the next 12 months than CASA. The debt ratio of PACB is 0.00 compared to 5.93 for CASA. CASA can be able to settle its long-term debts and thus is a lower financial risk than PACB.

Valuation

PACB currently trades at a P/B of 2.95, and a P/S of 3.19 while CASA trades at a forward P/E of 20.13, a P/B of 48.21, and a P/S of 6.86. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, PACB is the cheaper one. It is very obvious that earnings are the most important factors to investors, thus analysts are most likely to place their bet on the P/E.

Analyst Price Targets and Opinions

The mistake some people make is that they think a cheap stock has more value to it. In order to know the value of a stock, there is need to compare its current price to its likely trading price in the future. The price of PACB is currently at a -55.51% to its one-year price target of 4.90. Looking at its rival pricing, CASA is at a 2.91% relative to its price target of 27.17. This figure implies that over the next one year, CASA is a better investment.

When looking at the investment recommendation on say a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being a strong buy, 3 a hold, and 5 a sell), PACB is given a 2.30 while 2.00 placed for CASA. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for PACB stocks.

Insider Activity and Investor Sentiment

Short interest or otherwise called the percentage of a stock’s tradable shares currently being shorted is another data that investors use to get a handle on sentiment. The short ratio for PACB is 10.43 while that of CASA is just 0.11. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for CASA stock.

Conclusion

The stock of Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. defeats that of Casa Systems, Inc. when the two are compared, with PACB taking 6 out of the total factors that were been considered. PACB happens to be more profitable, generates a higher ROI, has higher cash flow per share, higher liquidity and has a lower financial risk. When looking at the stock valuation, PACB is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for PACB is better on when it is viewed on short interest.

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