Reviewing XBiotech (XBIT) and Flex Pharma (FLKS)

XBiotech (NASDAQ:XBIT) and Flex Pharma (NASDAQ:FLKS) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, risk, institutional ownership, dividends, profitability, valuation and analyst recommendations.

Volatility & Risk

XBiotech has a beta of 0.64, suggesting that its share price is 36% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Flex Pharma has a beta of 2.54, suggesting that its share price is 154% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations for XBiotech and Flex Pharma, as reported by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
XBiotech 0 0 0 0 N/A
Flex Pharma 0 3 2 0 2.40

Flex Pharma has a consensus target price of $17.50, suggesting a potential upside of 2,970.18%. Given Flex Pharma’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Flex Pharma is more favorable than XBiotech.


This table compares XBiotech and Flex Pharma’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
XBiotech N/A -39.84% -37.97%
Flex Pharma -3,092.50% -137.76% -116.00%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares XBiotech and Flex Pharma’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
XBiotech N/A N/A -$33.15 million N/A N/A
Flex Pharma $1.27 million 8.11 -$34.43 million ($1.99) -0.29

XBiotech has higher earnings, but lower revenue than Flex Pharma.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

5.1% of XBiotech shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 19.7% of Flex Pharma shares are owned by institutional investors. 37.0% of XBiotech shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 7.6% of Flex Pharma shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

XBiotech Company Profile

XBiotech Inc., a pre-market biopharmaceutical company, engages in discovering and developing True Human monoclonal antibodies for treating various diseases. The company’s lead product is Xilonix, which is also known as MABp1, a therapeutic antibody that neutralizes interleukin-1 alpha, which has completed Phase III clinical trial in Europe for the treatment of symptomatic and advanced colorectal cancer. It has also investigating its lead product candidate in various clinical trials for other inflammatory conditions, including vascular disease, type II diabetes, acne, psoriasis, pyoderma gangrenosum, and hidradenitis suppurativa, as well as staphylococcus aureus infection, influenza, and clostridium difficile infection diseases. XBiotech, Inc. was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Austin, Texas.

Flex Pharma Company Profile

Flex Pharma, Inc., a biotechnology company, develops and commercializes products for the treatment of muscle cramps, spasms, and spasticity associated with neurological conditions and exercise in the United States. It operates in two segments, Consumer Operations and Drug Development. The company’s lead drug candidate is FLX-787, a single molecule, chemically synthesized, and dual transient receptor potential V1/A1 ion channel activator, which is in exploratory Phase 2 clinical trial in Australia for the treatment of patients with multiple sclerosis; and two Phase 2 clinical trials in the United States for the treatment of patients with motor neuron disease in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. It also offers HOTSHOT, a consumer beverage to prevent and treat exercise associated muscle cramps. The company markets and sells its HOTSHOT product online through its e-commerce Website, as well as through specialty retailers. Flex Pharma, Inc. was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts.

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