Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (IONS) is better stock pick than Liberty Global plc (LBTYK)

The shares of Liberty Global plc have decreased by more than -6.03% this year alone. The shares recently went up by 4.43% or $1.35 and now trades at $31.80. The shares of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:IONS), has jumped by 0.80% year to date as of 04/23/2018. The shares currently trade at $50.70 and have been able to report a change of 16.63% over the past one week.

The stock of Liberty Global plc and Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. were two of the most active stocks on Monday. 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. These figures suggest that IONS ventures generate a higher ROI than that of LBTYK.

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, LBTYK’s free cash flow per share is a positive 10.22.


LBTYK currently trades at a P/B of 3.78, and a P/S of 1.22 while IONS trades at a forward P/E of 831.15, a P/B of 19.13, and a P/S of 12.47. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, LBTYK 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. Looking at its rival pricing, IONS is at a -17.25% relative to its price target of 61.27.

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 LBTYK is 2.96 while that of IONS is just 9.59. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for LBTYK stock.


The stock of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. defeats that of Liberty Global plc when the two are compared, with IONS taking 3 out of the total factors that were been considered. IONS 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, IONS is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for IONS is better on when it is viewed on short interest.

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