Critical Comparison: Qiagen (NYSE:QGEN) & Atara Biotherapeutics (NYSE:ATRA)

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Qiagen (NYSE:QGEN) and Atara Biotherapeutics (NASDAQ:ATRA) are both medical companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, earnings, risk, analyst recommendations, profitability, dividends and valuation.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Qiagen and Atara Biotherapeutics, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Qiagen 0 4 7 0 2.64
Atara Biotherapeutics 0 1 8 0 2.89

Qiagen currently has a consensus price target of $41.50, indicating a potential upside of 4.85%. Atara Biotherapeutics has a consensus price target of $45.33, indicating a potential upside of 202.02%. Given Atara Biotherapeutics’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Atara Biotherapeutics is more favorable than Qiagen.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Qiagen and Atara Biotherapeutics’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Qiagen $1.50 billion 5.94 $190.38 million $1.34 29.54
Atara Biotherapeutics N/A N/A -$230.70 million ($5.27) -2.85

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

Profitability

This table compares Qiagen and Atara Biotherapeutics’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Qiagen 12.45% 12.22% 5.77%
Atara Biotherapeutics N/A -69.14% -61.86%

Risk & Volatility

Qiagen has a beta of 0.84, suggesting that its share price is 16% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Atara Biotherapeutics has a beta of 2.11, suggesting that its share price is 111% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

63.2% of Qiagen shares are held by institutional investors. 9.0% of Qiagen shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 7.0% of Atara Biotherapeutics shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Qiagen beats Atara Biotherapeutics on 9 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Qiagen

QIAGEN N.V. provides sample to insight solutions that transform biological materials into molecular insights worldwide. The company offers sample technologies for plasmid deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) purification, ribonucleic acid purification and stabilization, genomic and viral nucleic acid purification, DNA cleanup after polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing, target enrichment, and library preparation for sequencing applications; and assay technology solutions. It also provides Ingenuity Variant Analysis, an application for analysis and interpretation of human sequencing data generated with next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies; QIAGEN Clinical Insight, an evidence-based variant classification; CLC Genomics Workbench for the analysis and visualization of data from various NGS platforms; and GeneGlobe, a Web-based portal that enables researchers to search and order bioinformatics solutions and linking biological interpretation from pre-designed and custom PCR assay kits, NGS assay panels, and other products. In addition, the company offers instrumentation systems for laboratories. Its automation platforms include QIAsymphony, a modular system; QIAsymphony SP for sample preparation; QIAsymphony AS for assay setup; Rotor-Gene Q, a rotary real-time PCR cycler system; QIAstat-Dx for molecular analysis of common syndromes; GeneReader NGS System, a sample to insight NGS solution for laboratories to deliver actionable results; NeuMoDx 288 and NeuMoDx 96 for automation of higher-throughput PCR testing in clinical laboratories; and QIAcube and QIAcube connect workstations, which provides versatile solutions for automated sample processing; It serves molecular diagnostics, applied testing, pharma, and academia customers. QIAGEN N.V. has collaboration agreements with Ares Genetics and Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings. The company was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in Venlo, the Netherlands.

About Atara Biotherapeutics

Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc., an off-the-shelf T-cell immunotherapy company, develops treatments for patients with cancer, autoimmune, and viral diseases in the United States. It is developing tabelecleucel, a T-cell immunotherapy that is Phase III clinical trials for the treatment of rituximab-refractory epstein-barr virus (EBV) associated post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder, as well as other EBV associated hematologic and solid tumors, including nasopharyngeal carcinoma. The company is also developing next-generation CAR T immunotherapies for patients with hematologic malignancies and solid tumors, and autoimmune and viral diseases, including ATA2271 for mesothelin; ATA2321 for acute myeloid leukemia; and ATA2431 and ATA3219 for B-cell lymphomas, as well as ATA188 and ATA190 that are in Phase I clinical trials for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. In addition, it is developing ATA621 against the BK and JC viruses; ATA368 for patients with human papillomavirus and associated cancers; ATA520 to treat Wilms tumor 1; and ATA230 against cytomegalovirus and related diseases. The company has a license agreement with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; license, and research and development collaboration agreement with QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute; and strategic collaboration with H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center. Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc. was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in South San Francisco, California.

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