Financial Metrics You Should Care About: Netlist, Inc. (NLST), Moleculin Biotech, Inc. (MBRX)

The shares of Netlist, Inc. have decreased by more than -27.32% this year alone. The shares recently went up by 6.13% or $0.01 and now trades at $0.22. The shares of Moleculin Biotech, Inc. (NASDAQ:MBRX), has jumped by 6.45% year to date as of 06/12/2018. The shares currently trade at $1.98 and have been able to report a change of 11.24% over the past one week.

The stock of Netlist, Inc. and Moleculin Biotech, Inc. were two of the most active stocks on Tuesday. 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. These figures suggest that MBRX ventures generate a higher ROI than that of NLST.

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 NLST is 1.50 and that of MBRX is 7.60. This implies that it is easier for NLST to cover its immediate obligations over the next 12 months than MBRX.


NLST currently trades at a P/S of 0.56 while MBRX trades at a P/B of 2.25, This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, NLST 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. Looking at its rival pricing, MBRX is at a -75.25% relative to its price target of 8.00.

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), NLST is given a 2.00 while 2.00 placed for MBRX. This means that analysts are equally bullish on their outlook for the two stocks 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 NLST is 4.06 while that of MBRX is just 6.08. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for NLST stock.


The stock of Moleculin Biotech, Inc. defeats that of Netlist, Inc. when the two are compared, with MBRX taking 4 out of the total factors that were been considered. MBRX 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, MBRX is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for MBRX is better on when it is viewed on short interest.

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