The shares of Sphere 3D Corp. have decreased by more than -81.71% this year alone. The shares recently went up by 12.19% or $0.05 and now trades at $0.45. The shares of Natera, Inc. (NASDAQ:NTRA), has jumped by 143.27% year to date as of 07/12/2018. The shares currently trade at $21.87 and have been able to report a change of 10.23% over the past one week.

The stock of Sphere 3D Corp. and Natera, Inc. 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. ANY has an EBITDA margin of 54.9%, this implies that the underlying business of ANY is more profitable. The ROI of ANY is -40.30% while that of NTRA is -90.50%. These figures suggest that ANY ventures generate a higher ROI than that of NTRA.

**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, ANY’s free cash flow per share is a positive -0.

**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 ANY is 0.30 and that of NTRA is 1.80. This implies that it is easier for ANY to cover its immediate obligations over the next 12 months than NTRA.

**Valuation**

ANY currently trades at a P/B of 0.43, and a P/S of 0.08 while NTRA trades at a P/S of 5.09. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, ANY 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 ANY is currently at a -91% to its one-year price target of 5.00. Looking at its rival pricing, NTRA is at a 22.32% relative to its price target of 17.88.

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), ANY is given a 3.00 while 2.00 placed for NTRA. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for ANY 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 ANY is 1.13 while that of NTRA is just 3.25. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for ANY stock.

Conclusion

The stock of Sphere 3D Corp. defeats that of Natera, Inc. when the two are compared, with ANY taking 6 out of the total factors that were been considered. ANY 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, ANY is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for ANY is better on when it is viewed on short interest.