Taking Tally Of Arbutus Biopharma Corporation (ABUS), PDL BioPharma, Inc. (PDLI)

The shares of Arbutus Biopharma Corporation have increased by more than 127.72% this year alone. The shares recently went up by 8.49% or $0.9 and now trades at $11.50. The shares of PDL BioPharma, Inc. (NASDAQ:PDLI), has slumped by -6.57% year to date as of 07/12/2018. The shares currently trade at $2.56 and have been able to report a change of 3.64% over the past one week.

The stock of Arbutus Biopharma Corporation and PDL BioPharma, 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. The ROI of ABUS is -72.50% while that of PDLI is 11.90%. These figures suggest that PDLI ventures generate a higher ROI than that of ABUS.

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, ABUS’s free cash flow per share is a negative -0.19.

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 ABUS is 16.90 and that of PDLI is 10.00. This implies that it is easier for ABUS to cover its immediate obligations over the next 12 months than PDLI. The debt ratio of ABUS is 0.00 compared to 0.14 for PDLI. PDLI can be able to settle its long-term debts and thus is a lower financial risk than ABUS.


ABUS currently trades at a P/B of 5.56, and a P/S of 48.10 while PDLI trades at a forward P/E of 17.07, a P/B of 0.46, and a P/S of 1.23. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, PDLI 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 ABUS is currently at a 23.39% to its one-year price target of 9.32. Looking at its rival pricing, PDLI is at a 2.4% relative to its price target of 2.50.

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), ABUS is given a 1.90 while 3.00 placed for PDLI. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for PDLI 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 ABUS is 2.35 while that of PDLI is just 11.51. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for ABUS stock.


The stock of Arbutus Biopharma Corporation defeats that of PDL BioPharma, Inc. when the two are compared, with ABUS taking 5 out of the total factors that were been considered. ABUS 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, ABUS is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for ABUS is better on when it is viewed on short interest.

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