Reviewing Prana Biotechnology (NASDAQ:PRAN) & Ionis Pharmaceuticals (IONS)

Ionis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: IONS) and Prana Biotechnology (NASDAQ:PRAN) are both medical companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, earnings, profitability, institutional ownership, risk, valuation and analyst recommendations.

Earnings & Valuation

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This table compares Ionis Pharmaceuticals and Prana Biotechnology’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ionis Pharmaceuticals $507.67 million 10.40 -$5.96 million $0.08 526.50
Prana Biotechnology $100,000.00 183.34 -$5.68 million ($0.64) -3.22

Prana Biotechnology has lower revenue, but higher earnings than Ionis Pharmaceuticals. Prana Biotechnology is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Ionis Pharmaceuticals, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.


This table compares Ionis Pharmaceuticals and Prana Biotechnology’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Ionis Pharmaceuticals -1.18% -1.94% -0.50%
Prana Biotechnology N/A N/A N/A

Insider and Institutional Ownership

90.7% of Ionis Pharmaceuticals shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 2.4% of Prana Biotechnology shares are held by institutional investors. 2.1% of Ionis Pharmaceuticals shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 38.8% of Prana Biotechnology shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for Ionis Pharmaceuticals and Prana Biotechnology, as reported by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Ionis Pharmaceuticals 2 5 6 0 2.31
Prana Biotechnology 0 0 1 0 3.00

Ionis Pharmaceuticals presently has a consensus target price of $51.33, indicating a potential upside of 21.87%. Prana Biotechnology has a consensus target price of $4.00, indicating a potential upside of 94.17%. Given Prana Biotechnology’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Prana Biotechnology is more favorable than Ionis Pharmaceuticals.

Volatility & Risk

Ionis Pharmaceuticals has a beta of 2.5, indicating that its stock price is 150% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Prana Biotechnology has a beta of -0.15, indicating that its stock price is 115% less volatile than the S&P 500.


Prana Biotechnology beats Ionis Pharmaceuticals on 8 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Ionis Pharmaceuticals

Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. discovers and develops RNA-targeted therapeutics. The company offers SPINRAZA for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) in pediatric and adult patients; and Kynamro an oligonucleotide inhibitor for use in patients with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia to reduce low density lipoprotein-cholesterol, apolipoprotein B, total cholesterol, and non-high density lipoprotein. It is also developing inotersen, an antisense drug Ionis to treat patients with hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis; and volanesorsen, an antisense drug for the treatment of familial chylomicronemia syndrome and familial partial lipodystrophy. In addition, the company is developing drugs for various indications, such as cardiometabolic diseases caused by lipid disorders; cardiovascular disease, clotting disorders, and Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases; and acromegaly, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, beta-thalassemia, and Huntington's disease. Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has a collaboration agreement with AstraZeneca to discover and develop antisense therapies for treating cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, and cancer; and Biogen Inc. to develop and commercialize therapies for neurological disorders, SMA, and neurodegenerative diseases. The company was formerly known as Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and changed its name to Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in December 2015. Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Carlsbad, California.

About Prana Biotechnology

Prana Biotechnology Limited is a development-stage medical biotechnology company. The Company is engaged in the research and development of therapeutic drugs designed to treat the underlying cause of degeneration of the brain focusing on Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington disease, Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders. The Company’s lead product candidates are PBT2 and PBT434. The Company’s lead drug candidate PBT2 is being developed for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s diseases. The Company also has advanced a drug candidate for Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders (PBT434) and brain cancer (PBT519), which are in pre-clinical toxicology testing. Its other applications for its therapies include certain cancers, age-related macular degeneration, Motor Neuron disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (the human variant of Mad Cow disease), and a range of orphan neurodegenerative disorders.

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