NxStage Medical (NASDAQ: NXTM) and Avinger (NASDAQ:AVGR) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, risk, analyst recommendations, valuation, institutional ownership, profitabiliy and earnings.

Volatility and Risk

NxStage Medical has a beta of 0.16, meaning that its stock price is 84% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Avinger has a beta of -0.28, meaning that its stock price is 128% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares NxStage Medical and Avinger’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
NxStage Medical -1.25% -2.31% -1.47%
Avinger -304.43% -2,432.46% -115.58%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for NxStage Medical and Avinger, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
NxStage Medical 0 1 3 0 2.75
Avinger 0 3 2 0 2.40

NxStage Medical presently has a consensus price target of $31.75, suggesting a potential upside of 35.57%. Avinger has a consensus price target of $5.33, suggesting a potential upside of 1,031.86%. Given Avinger’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Avinger is more favorable than NxStage Medical.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

94.9% of NxStage Medical shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 61.1% of Avinger shares are owned by institutional investors. 4.7% of NxStage Medical shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 30.5% of Avinger shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares NxStage Medical and Avinger’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
NxStage Medical $374.00 million 4.12 $14.68 million ($0.07) -334.52
Avinger $18.17 million 0.62 -$47.92 million ($3.01) -0.16

NxStage Medical has higher revenue and earnings than Avinger. NxStage Medical is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Avinger, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

NxStage Medical beats Avinger on 11 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About NxStage Medical

NxStage Medical, Inc. is a medical technology company. The Company develops, manufactures and markets products and services for patients suffering from chronic or acute kidney failure. It operates through three segments. The System One segment includes revenues from the sale and rental of the System One and PureFlow SL dialysate preparation equipment and the sale of disposable products in the home and critical care markets. The In-Center segment includes revenues from the sale of blood tubing sets and needles for hemodialysis, primarily for the treatment of end-stage renal disease patients at dialysis clinics, and needles for apheresis. It markets extracorporeal disposable products under the Medisystems brand. The Services segment includes revenues from dialysis services provided to patients at its NxStage Kidney Care dialysis centers. Its product offerings include Home Dialysis, Next-Generation Hemodialysis System, Critical Care, Next-Generation Critical Care System and In-Center.

About Avinger

Avinger, Inc. is a commercial-stage medical device company. The Company designs, manufactures and sells image-guided, catheter-based systems that are used by physicians to treat patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD). The Company focuses on introducing products based on its lumivascular platform, which is an intravascular image-guided system. The Company manufactures and sells a suite of products in the United States and certain European markets. The Company’s products include Lightbox imaging console, as well as its Wildcat, Kittycat and the Ocelot family of catheters, which are designed to allow physicians to penetrate a total blockage in an artery, known as a chronic total occlusion (CTO). The lumivascular platform offers real-time visualization of the inside of the artery during PAD treatment. The lumivascular platform consists of a capital component Lightbox and a range of disposable catheter products, including Ocelot, Ocelot PIXL, Ocelot MVRX and Pantheris.

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