Choosing Between Hot Stocks: Apricus Biosciences, Inc. (APRI), F5 Networks, Inc. (FFIV)

The shares of Apricus Biosciences, Inc. have decreased by more than -77.17% this year alone. The shares recently went down by -8.30% or -$0.04 and now trades at $0.42. The shares of F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:FFIV), has jumped by 18.17% year to date as of 04/13/2018. The shares currently trade at $155.06 and have been able to report a change of 10.20% over the past one week.

The stock of Apricus Biosciences, Inc. and F5 Networks, Inc. were two of the most active stocks on Friday. 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 FFIV ventures generate a higher ROI than that of APRI.

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 APRI is 4.20 and that of FFIV is 1.50. This implies that it is easier for APRI to cover its immediate obligations over the next 12 months than FFIV. The debt ratio of APRI is 0.00 compared to 0.00 for FFIV. FFIV can be able to settle its long-term debts and thus is a lower financial risk than APRI.


APRI currently trades at a P/B of 1.45, while FFIV trades at a forward P/E of 15.14, a P/B of 7.86, and a P/S of 3.74. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, APRI 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 APRI is currently at a -66.4% to its one-year price target of 1.25. Looking at its rival pricing, FFIV is at a 5.63% relative to its price target of 146.80.

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), APRI is given a 2.50 while 2.70 placed for FFIV. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for FFIV 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 APRI is 1.08 while that of FFIV is just 4.32. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for APRI stock.


The stock of F5 Networks, Inc. defeats that of Apricus Biosciences, Inc. when the two are compared, with FFIV taking 6 out of the total factors that were been considered. FFIV 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, FFIV is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for FFIV is better on when it is viewed on short interest.

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