Which of 2 stocks would appeal to long-term investors? Verastem, Inc. (VSTM), HighPoint Resources Corporation (HPR)

The shares of Verastem, Inc. have increased by more than 186.64% this year alone. The shares recently went down by -0.68% or -$0.06 and now trades at $8.80. The shares of HighPoint Resources Corporation (NYSE:HPR), has slumped by -1.56% year to date as of 09/13/2018. The shares currently trade at $5.05 and have been able to report a change of -3.44% over the past one week.

The stock of Verastem, Inc. and HighPoint Resources Corporation 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.

Next 5Y EPS Growth: 1.74% versus 31.00%

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 VSTM will grow it’s earning at a 1.74% annual rate in the next 5 years. This is in contrast to HPR which will have a positive growth at a 31.00% annual rate. This means that the higher growth rate of HPR 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. These figures suggest that VSTM ventures generate a higher ROI than that of HPR.

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 VSTM is 7.70 and that of HPR is 0.70. This implies that it is easier for VSTM to cover its immediate obligations over the next 12 months than HPR. The debt ratio of VSTM is 0.20 compared to 0.61 for HPR. HPR can be able to settle its long-term debts and thus is a lower financial risk than VSTM.


VSTM currently trades at a P/B of 4.25, and a P/S of 63.32 while HPR trades at a forward P/E of 7.07, a P/B of 1.04, and a P/S of 3.12. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, HPR 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 VSTM is currently at a -38.42% to its one-year price target of 14.29. Looking at its rival pricing, HPR is at a -39.67% relative to its price target of 8.37.

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), VSTM is given a 1.70 while 2.00 placed for HPR. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for HPR 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 VSTM is 2.09 while that of HPR is just 5.95. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for VSTM stock.


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

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