The shares of Cerus Corporation have increased by more than 119.53% this year alone. The shares recently went up by 6.15% or $0.43 and now trades at $7.42. The shares of GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME), has slumped by -15.93% year to date as of 07/12/2018. The shares currently trade at $15.09 and have been able to report a change of 3.14% over the past one week.

The stock of Cerus Corporation and GameStop 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 CERS is -89.40% while that of GME is 4.40%. These figures suggest that GME ventures generate a higher ROI than that of CERS.

**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, CERS’s free cash flow per share is a negative -0.02, while that of GME is also a negative -6.39.

**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 CERS is 5.70 and that of GME is 1.50. This implies that it is easier for CERS to cover its immediate obligations over the next 12 months than GME. The debt ratio of CERS is 0.35 compared to 0.37 for GME. GME can be able to settle its long-term debts and thus is a lower financial risk than CERS.

**Valuation**

CERS currently trades at a P/B of 10.75, and a P/S of 15.94 while GME trades at a forward P/E of 5.28, a P/B of 0.70, and a P/S of 0.17. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, GME 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 CERS is currently at a -1.07% to its one-year price target of 7.50. Looking at its rival pricing, GME is at a 6.27% relative to its price target of 14.20.

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), CERS is given a 1.80 while 2.70 placed for GME. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for GME 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 CERS is 2.90 while that of GME is just 8.44. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for CERS stock.

Conclusion

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