Analyzing Sienna Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SNNA) and Akorn (NASDAQ:AKRX)

Sienna Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SNNA) and Akorn (NASDAQ:AKRX) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, earnings, dividends, analyst recommendations, risk, valuation and institutional ownership.

Risk and Volatility

Sienna Biopharmaceuticals has a beta of 2.89, indicating that its stock price is 189% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Akorn has a beta of 1.9, indicating that its stock price is 90% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Sienna Biopharmaceuticals and Akorn’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Sienna Biopharmaceuticals N/A N/A -$73.47 million ($3.59) -0.24
Akorn $694.02 million 0.46 -$401.91 million ($0.36) -7.11

Sienna Biopharmaceuticals has higher earnings, but lower revenue than Akorn. Akorn is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Sienna Biopharmaceuticals, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

51.3% of Sienna Biopharmaceuticals shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 66.4% of Akorn shares are owned by institutional investors. 27.2% of Sienna Biopharmaceuticals shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 3.9% of Akorn shares are owned by 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.


This table compares Sienna Biopharmaceuticals and Akorn’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Sienna Biopharmaceuticals N/A -181.50% -60.28%
Akorn -72.25% -17.88% -5.08%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings for Sienna Biopharmaceuticals and Akorn, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Sienna Biopharmaceuticals 0 1 2 0 2.67
Akorn 0 3 3 0 2.50

Sienna Biopharmaceuticals currently has a consensus target price of $31.00, indicating a potential upside of 3,504.65%. Akorn has a consensus target price of $6.80, indicating a potential upside of 165.63%. Given Sienna Biopharmaceuticals’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Sienna Biopharmaceuticals is more favorable than Akorn.


Sienna Biopharmaceuticals beats Akorn on 7 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Sienna Biopharmaceuticals

Sienna Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, focuses on the development of drugs in various therapeutic areas. It develops therapies in immunology and inflammation that target select pathways in tissues, such as skin. The company's lead product candidates include SNA-120, a first-in-class inhibitor of tropomyosin receptor kinase A, which is in a Phase IIb clinical trial for the treatment of psoriasis and associated pruritus; and SNA-125, a topical dual Janus kinase 3 inhibitor that is in Phase I/II clinical trials for the treatment of atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and pruritus. It also develops SNA-001, a topical suspension of silver particles, which is in pivotal clinical trials for the treatment of acne, as well as for the reduction of light-pigmented hair, including white, gray, blonde, light brown, and light red hair. The company was formerly known as Sienna Labs, Inc. and changed its name to Sienna Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. in February 2016. Sienna Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in Westlake Village, California.

About Akorn

Akorn, Inc., a specialty generic pharmaceutical company, develops, manufactures, and markets generic and branded prescription pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter (OTC) consumer health products, and animal health pharmaceuticals in the United States and internationally. The company operates in two segments, Prescription Pharmaceuticals and Consumer Health. The Prescription Pharmaceuticals segment offers generic and branded prescription pharmaceuticals in various dosage forms, including sterile ophthalmics, injectables, and inhalants; and non-sterile oral liquids, topicals, nasal sprays, and otics. Its primary products include Akten, a topical ocular anesthetic gel; AzaSite, an antibiotic used to treat bacterial conjunctivitis; Cosopt, Cosopt PF, Betimol, and Zioptan, which are used in the treatment of glaucoma; and Xopenex inhalation solution used in the treatment or prevention of bronchospasm. The Consumer Health segment manufactures and markets OTC products for the treatment of dry eye under the TheraTears brand. It also markets other OTC consumer health products comprising Mag-Ox, a magnesium supplement; and the Diabetic Tussin line of cough and cold products. In addition, this segment offers a portfolio of animal health products, such as Anased and VetaKet veterinary sedatives; Tolazine and Yobine sedative reversing agents; and Butorphic, a pain reliever. Akorn, Inc. was founded in 1971 and is headquartered in Lake Forest, Illinois.

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