Which is more compelling pick right now? – Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. (PACB), Pioneer Energy Services Corp. (PES)

The shares of Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. have decreased by more than -4.55% this year alone. The shares recently went down by -4.18% or -$0.11 and now trades at $2.52. The shares of Pioneer Energy Services Corp. (NYSE:PES), has jumped by 22.95% year to date as of 01/11/2018. The shares currently trade at $3.75 and have been able to report a change of -1.32% over the past one week.

The stock of Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. and Pioneer Energy Services Corp. were two of the most active stocks on Thursday. 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. The ROI of PACB is -70.70% while that of PES is -16.60%. These figures suggest that PES ventures generate a higher ROI than that of PACB.

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, PACB’s free cash flow per share is a negative -0.02.

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 PACB is 3.80 and that of PES is 1.80. This implies that it is easier for PACB to cover its immediate obligations over the next 12 months than PES. The debt ratio of PACB is 0.13 compared to 1.77 for PES. PES can be able to settle its long-term debts and thus is a lower financial risk than PACB.


PACB currently trades at a P/B of 2.86, and a P/S of 3.04 while PES trades at a P/B of 1.31, and a P/S of 0.80. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, PACB 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 PACB is currently at a -49.9% to its one-year price target of 5.03. Looking at its rival pricing, PES is at a 25% relative to its price target of 3.00. This figure implies that over the next one year, PES is a better investment.

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), PACB is given a 2.30 while 2.40 placed for PES. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for PES 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 PACB is 11.90 while that of PES is just 4.75. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for PES stock.


The stock of Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. defeats that of Pioneer Energy Services Corp. when the two are compared, with PACB taking 6 out of the total factors that were been considered. PACB 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, PACB is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for PACB is better on when it is viewed on short interest.

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