Earnings

Uncovering the next great stocks: Geron Corporation (GERN), Ralph Lauren Corporation (RL)

The shares of Geron Corporation have increased by more than 160.00% this year alone. The shares recently went up by 14.99% or $0.61 and now trades at $4.68. The shares of Ralph Lauren Corporation (NYSE:RL), has jumped by 28.59% year to date as of 05/23/2018. The shares currently trade at $133.33 and have been able to report a change of 18.86% over the past one week.

The stock of Geron Corporation and Ralph Lauren Corporation were two of the most active stocks on Wednesday. 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.

Next 5Y EPS Growth: 5.00% versus 5.33%

When a company is able to grow consistently in terms of earnings at a high compound rate have the highest likelihood of creating value for its shareholders over time. Analysts have predicted that GERN will grow it’s earning at a 5.00% annual rate in the next 5 years. This is in contrast to RL which will have a positive growth at a 5.33% annual rate. This means that the higher growth rate of RL implies a greater potential for capital appreciation over the years.

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. The ROI of GERN is -28.20% while that of RL is -2.10%. These figures suggest that RL ventures generate a higher ROI than that of GERN.

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, GERN’s free cash flow per share is a negative -0.81, while that of RL is positive 6.35.

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 GERN is 20.80 and that of RL is 2.10. This implies that it is easier for GERN to cover its immediate obligations over the next 12 months than RL. The debt ratio of GERN is 0.00 compared to 0.25 for RL. RL can be able to settle its long-term debts and thus is a lower financial risk than GERN.

Valuation

GERN currently trades at a P/B of 7.43, and a P/S of 969.46 while RL trades at a forward P/E of 21.50, a P/B of 3.20, and a P/S of 1.71. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, RL 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 GERN is currently at a -14.91% to its one-year price target of 5.50. Looking at its rival pricing, RL is at a 18.44% relative to its price target of 112.57.

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), GERN is given a 2.70 while 2.90 placed for RL. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for RL 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 GERN is 5.42 while that of RL is just 8.23. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for GERN stock.

Conclusion

The stock of Geron Corporation defeats that of Ralph Lauren Corporation when the two are compared, with GERN taking 6 out of the total factors that were been considered. GERN 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, GERN is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for GERN is better on when it is viewed on short interest.

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