The shares of Spark Therapeutics, Inc. have increased by more than 8.93% this year alone. The shares recently went down by -27.83% or -$21.6 and now trades at $56.01. The shares of Luminex Corporation (NASDAQ:LMNX), has jumped by 26.83% year to date as of 08/07/2018. The shares currently trade at $24.99 and have been able to report a change of -26.21% over the past one week.

The stock of Spark Therapeutics, Inc. and Luminex Corporation were two of the most active stocks on Tuesday. 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.

**Next 5Y EPS Growth: 17.00% versus -11.64%**

When a company is able to grow consistently in terms of earnings at a high compound rate have the highest likelihood of creating value for its shareholders over time. Analysts have predicted that ONCE will grow it’s earning at a 17.00% annual rate in the next 5 years. This is in contrast to LMNX which will have a positive growth at a -11.64% annual rate. This means that the higher growth rate of ONCE implies a greater potential for capital appreciation over the years.

**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. ONCE has an EBITDA margin of 240.46%, this implies that the underlying business of ONCE is more profitable. The ROI of ONCE is -50.00% while that of LMNX is 9.60%. These figures suggest that LMNX ventures generate a higher ROI than that of ONCE.

**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, ONCE’s free cash flow per share is a positive 0.41.

**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 ONCE is 11.40 and that of LMNX is 6.70. This implies that it is easier for ONCE to cover its immediate obligations over the next 12 months than LMNX. The debt ratio of ONCE is 0.00 compared to 0.00 for LMNX. LMNX can be able to settle its long-term debts and thus is a lower financial risk than ONCE.

**Valuation**

ONCE currently trades at a P/B of 4.33, and a P/S of 82.32 while LMNX trades at a forward P/E of 37.40, a P/B of 2.38, and a P/S of 3.57. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, LMNX 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 ONCE is currently at a -30.81% to its one-year price target of 80.95. Looking at its rival pricing, LMNX is at a 4.13% relative to its price target of 24.00.

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), ONCE is given a 2.40 while 2.70 placed for LMNX. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for LMNX 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 ONCE is 9.68 while that of LMNX is just 4.62. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for LMNX stock.

Conclusion

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