Analyzing Meridian Bioscience (NASDAQ:VIVO) & Heska (NASDAQ:HSKA)

Meridian Bioscience (NASDAQ:VIVO) and Heska (NASDAQ:HSKA) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, earnings, dividends, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, risk and profitability.

Profitability

This table compares Meridian Bioscience and Heska’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Meridian Bioscience 12.65% 17.82% 11.97%
Heska 1.93% 6.35% 4.85%

Dividends

Meridian Bioscience pays an annual dividend of $0.25 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.5%. Heska does not pay a dividend. Meridian Bioscience pays out 33.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Volatility & Risk

Meridian Bioscience has a beta of 0.32, indicating that its stock price is 68% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Heska has a beta of 1.02, indicating that its stock price is 2% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Meridian Bioscience and Heska’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Meridian Bioscience $213.57 million 2.02 $23.84 million $0.74 13.62
Heska $127.45 million 4.52 $5.85 million $1.42 52.04

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

Insider & Institutional Ownership

86.8% of Meridian Bioscience shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 88.4% of Heska shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.0% of Meridian Bioscience shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 14.0% of Heska shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and target prices for Meridian Bioscience and Heska, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Meridian Bioscience 1 2 0 0 1.67
Heska 0 4 1 0 2.20

Meridian Bioscience currently has a consensus target price of $11.33, suggesting a potential upside of 12.43%. Heska has a consensus target price of $91.00, suggesting a potential upside of 23.16%. Given Heska’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Heska is more favorable than Meridian Bioscience.

Summary

Heska beats Meridian Bioscience on 10 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Meridian Bioscience Company Profile

Meridian Bioscience, Inc., a life science company, develops, manufactures, distributes, and sells diagnostic test kits primarily for various gastrointestinal and respiratory infectious diseases, and elevated blood lead levels worldwide. The company operates through Diagnostics and Life Science segments. The Diagnostics segment offers testing platforms and technologies, including isothermal DNA amplification under the Alethia brand; rapid immunoassays, a single-use immunoassays under the ImmunoCard and ImmunoCard STAT! brand names; enzyme-linked immunoassays under the PREMIER brand; and anodic stripping voltammetry, an electrical chemical sensor platform for quantitative determination under the LeadCare brand. This segment's products are primarily used in the detection of infectious diseases caused by various bacteria, viruses, parasites, and pathogens. Its products consists of gastrointestinal assays, including tests for C. difficile, Enterohemorrhagic E. coli, Campylobacter jejuni, H. pylori, Cryptosporidium, giardia lamblia, and calprotectin; respiratory illness assays, such as tests for Group A Streptococcus, Influenza, M. pneumoniae, Bordetella pertussis, and respiratory syncytial virus; blood chemistry assays; and tests for Group B Streptococcus, Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhea, Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 and Type 2, and Malaria. This segment sells its products through direct sales force and independent distributors to acute care hospitals, reference laboratories, outpatient clinics, and physician office laboratories. The Life Science segment offers bulk antigens, antibodies, PCR/qPCR reagents, nucleotides, competent cells, and bioresearch reagents used by researchers, agri-bio companies, and other diagnostic manufacturing companies. Meridian Bioscience, Inc. was founded in 1976 and is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Heska Company Profile

Heska Corporation manufactures, sells, and markets veterinary diagnostic and specialty products for canine and feline healthcare markets in the United States, Canada, Europe, and internationally. The company's Core Companion Animal segment offers Element DC and DRI-CHEM 7000 veterinary chemistry analyzers for blood chemistry and electrolyte analysis; Element HT5 and HemaTrue veterinary hematology analyzers to measure blood cell and platelet count, and hemoglobin levels; Element POC blood gas and electrolyte analyzers; Element i immunodiagnostic analyzers; Element COAG veterinary analyzers; and IV infusion pumps. It also provides digital radiography hardware and mobile digital radiography products, as well as ultrasound systems; Cloudbank, a Web-based image storage solution; ViewCloud, a picture archival and communications system for Cloudbank; point-of-care heartworm diagnostic test products for dogs and cats; Tri-Heart Plus chewable tablets for the treatment of canine heartworm infection, and treatment and control of ascarid and hookworm infections; and allergy products and services, including ALLERCEPT definitive allergen panels, and therapy shots or drops. The company's Other Vaccines and Pharmaceuticals segment offers a line of bovine vaccines; biological and pharmaceutical products for other animal health companies; and various turnkey services comprising research, licensing, production, labeling, and packaging, as well as provides validation support and distribution services. Heska Corporation sells its products to veterinarians through a field organization, a telephone sales force, and third party distributors; and trade shows, print advertising, and other distribution relationships. The company was formerly known as Paravax, Inc. and changed its name to Heska Corporation in 1995. Heska Corporation was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in Loveland, Colorado.

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