The shares of Express, Inc. have decreased by more than -8.57% this year alone. The shares recently went down by -0.75% or -$0.07 and now trades at $9.28. The shares of Idera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:IDRA), has slumped by -49.76% year to date as of 07/12/2018. The shares currently trade at $1.06 and have been able to report a change of -25.35% over the past one week.

The stock of Express, Inc. and Idera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. were two of the most active stocks on Thursday. 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. EXPR has an EBITDA margin of 6.1%, this implies that the underlying business of EXPR is more profitable. The ROI of EXPR is 2.80% while that of IDRA is -61.60%. These figures suggest that EXPR ventures generate a higher ROI than that of IDRA.

**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, EXPR’s free cash flow per share is a negative -1.5, while that of IDRA is also a negative -1.69.

**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 EXPR is 2.00 and that of IDRA is 8.90. This implies that it is easier for EXPR to cover its immediate obligations over the next 12 months than IDRA. The debt ratio of EXPR is 0.00 compared to 0.00 for IDRA. IDRA can be able to settle its long-term debts and thus is a lower financial risk than EXPR.

**Valuation**

EXPR currently trades at a forward P/E of 17.64, a P/B of 1.10, and a P/S of 0.33 while IDRA trades at a P/B of 2.12, and a P/S of 269.61. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, EXPR 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 EXPR is currently at a -9.46% to its one-year price target of 10.25. Looking at its rival pricing, IDRA is at a -75.06% relative to its price target of 4.25.

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), EXPR is given a 3.00 while 1.80 placed for IDRA. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for EXPR 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 EXPR is 6.78 while that of IDRA is just 1.12. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for IDRA stock.

Conclusion

The stock of Express, Inc. defeats that of Idera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. when the two are compared, with EXPR taking 7 out of the total factors that were been considered. EXPR 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, EXPR is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for EXPR is better on when it is viewed on short interest.