Critical Analysis: Catalyst Biosciences (CBIO) vs. VIVUS (VVUS)

Catalyst Biosciences (NASDAQ: CBIO) and VIVUS (NASDAQ:VVUS) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, valuation, institutional ownership, earnings, dividends, profitability and analyst recommendations.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for Catalyst Biosciences and VIVUS, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Catalyst Biosciences 0 0 2 0 3.00
VIVUS 0 0 0 0 N/A

Catalyst Biosciences currently has a consensus target price of $10.50, suggesting a potential upside of 84.21%. Given Catalyst Biosciences’ higher probable upside, research analysts plainly believe Catalyst Biosciences is more favorable than VIVUS.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

29.2% of Catalyst Biosciences shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 35.7% of VIVUS shares are held by institutional investors. 5.0% of Catalyst Biosciences shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 4.4% of VIVUS shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Catalyst Biosciences and VIVUS’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Catalyst Biosciences $561,999.00 43.71 -$19.79 million ($17.78) -0.32
VIVUS $133.40 million 0.77 $67.14 million $0.31 3.12

VIVUS has higher revenue and earnings than Catalyst Biosciences. Catalyst Biosciences is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than VIVUS, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.


This table compares Catalyst Biosciences and VIVUS’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Catalyst Biosciences -3,127.92% -92.61% -46.69%
VIVUS 24.72% 3,746.48% 11.02%

Risk & Volatility

Catalyst Biosciences has a beta of 1.72, meaning that its share price is 72% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, VIVUS has a beta of 0.96, meaning that its share price is 4% less volatile than the S&P 500.


VIVUS beats Catalyst Biosciences on 7 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

Catalyst Biosciences Company Profile

Catalyst Biosciences, Inc., formerly Targacept, Inc., is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. The Company is focused on creating and developing medicines to address serious medical conditions. The Company focuses its product development efforts in the fields of hemostasis, including the treatment of hemophilia and surgical bleeding, and inflammation, including prevention of delayed graft function (DGF) in renal transplants and the treatment of dry age-related macular degeneration (dry AMD), a condition that can cause visual impairment or blindness. The Company’s advanced program is a coagulation Factor VIIa variant, CB 813d, that has completed a Phase I clinical trial in severe hemophilia A and B patients. In addition to its lead Factor VIIa program, it has approximately two other coagulation factors, a Factor IX variant, CB 2679d/ISU 304, that is in advanced preclinical development, and a Factor Xa variant that has reached the advanced lead preclinical-stage of development.

VIVUS Company Profile

VIVUS, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company operates in the development and commercialization of therapeutic products segment. It provides over two therapies approved by the Food and Drug Association (FDA), which include Qsymia (phentermine and topiramate extended-release) for chronic weight management and STENDRA (avanafil) for erectile dysfunction (ED). The Company has completed the Phase II studies of Qsymia for the indication of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and diabetes. Its Qsymia is available in over 40,000 certified retail pharmacies across the country. Its STENDRA is also approved by the European Commission (EC), under the name, SPEDRA, for the treatment of ED in the Europe. The United States Food and Drug Association approved a Supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for STENDRA. STENDRA is indicated to be taken approximately 15 minutes before sexual activity.

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