Reviewing PDL BioPharma (NASDAQ:PDLI) & argenx (NASDAQ:ARGX)

PDL BioPharma (NASDAQ:PDLI) and argenx (NASDAQ:ARGX) are both medical companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, risk, analyst recommendations, profitability, valuation, dividends and institutional ownership.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares PDL BioPharma and argenx’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
PDL BioPharma $198.11 million 1.87 -$68.86 million $0.37 8.78
argenx $25.37 million 217.44 -$78.70 million ($2.35) -61.60

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

Insider and Institutional Ownership

87.1% of PDL BioPharma shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 58.7% of argenx shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.2% of PDL BioPharma shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for PDL BioPharma and argenx, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
PDL BioPharma 0 1 0 0 2.00
argenx 0 3 10 0 2.77

PDL BioPharma currently has a consensus price target of $3.00, suggesting a potential downside of 7.69%. argenx has a consensus price target of $167.82, suggesting a potential upside of 15.94%. Given argenx’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe argenx is more favorable than PDL BioPharma.

Volatility and Risk

PDL BioPharma has a beta of 0.68, meaning that its stock price is 32% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, argenx has a beta of 1.25, meaning that its stock price is 25% more volatile than the S&P 500.


This table compares PDL BioPharma and argenx’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
PDL BioPharma N/A 6.71% 5.02%
argenx N/A N/A N/A


PDL BioPharma beats argenx on 7 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

PDL BioPharma Company Profile

PDL BioPharma, Inc. acquires, manages, and commercializes commercial stage pharmaceutical assets and late clinical stage pharmaceutical products in the United States, Europe, and internationally. The company operates in three segments: Pharmaceutical, Medical Devices, and Income Generating Assets. The Pharmaceutical segment manufactures, markets, and sells prescription medicine products for the treatment of hypertension to wholesalers under the Tekturna and Tekturna HCT names in the United States, as well as under the Rasilez and Rasilez HCT names internationally. The Medical Devices segment manufactures, markets, and sells LENSAR laser systems for anterior capsulotomy, lens fragmentation, corneal and arcuate incisions to ophthalmic ambulatory surgical centers, specialty ophthalmic hospitals, and multi-specialty hospitals through a direct sales force. The Income Generating Assets segment consists of notes and other long-term receivables; royalty rights and hybrid notes/royalty receivables; equity investments in healthcare companies; and royalties from issued patents covering the humanization of antibodies, including Avastin, Herceptin, Xolair, Lucentis, Perjeta, Kadcyla, and Tysabri. The company was formerly known as Protein Design Labs, Inc. and changed its name to PDL BioPharma, Inc. in 2006. PDL BioPharma, Inc. was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in Incline Village, Nevada.

argenx Company Profile

argenx SE, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, focuses on developing antibody-based therapies for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and cancer. The company's lead product candidates include ARGX-113 that completed Phase 2 clinical trials for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, including myasthenia gravis, immune thrombocytopenia, and pemphigus vulgaris; and ARGX-110, which is in Phase 1/2 clinical trials for the treatment of T-cell lymphoma, acute myeloid leukemia, and myelodysplastic syndrome. It is also developing ARGX-111 to treat solid tumors; ARGX-109 for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis; ARGX-112 to treat skin inflammation; ARGX-115, a cancer immunotherapy-focused product candidate; and ARGX-116 for the treatment of dyslipidemia. The company has license and collaboration agreements with AbbVie S.Á.R.L.; Bird Rock Bio, Inc.; LEO Pharma A/S; Staten Biotechnology B.V.; and Shire International GmbH. argenx SE was founded in 2008 and is based in Breda, the Netherlands.

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