Critical Review: Heat Biologics (HTBX) and bluebird bio (BLUE)

Heat Biologics (NASDAQ: HTBX) and bluebird bio (NASDAQ:BLUE) are both medical companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, earnings, profitability, dividends, valuation, analyst recommendations and institutional ownership.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for Heat Biologics and bluebird bio, as reported by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Heat Biologics 0 0 2 0 3.00
bluebird bio 2 8 12 0 2.45

Heat Biologics presently has a consensus target price of $22.50, indicating a potential upside of 956.34%. bluebird bio has a consensus target price of $196.26, indicating a potential downside of 11.11%. Given Heat Biologics’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Heat Biologics is more favorable than bluebird bio.


This table compares Heat Biologics and bluebird bio’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Heat Biologics -782.32% -153.27% -75.49%
bluebird bio -947.42% -28.09% -23.00%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

78.0% of Heat Biologics shares are held by institutional investors. 8.7% of Heat Biologics shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 3.9% of bluebird bio shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Heat Biologics and bluebird bio’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Heat Biologics $1.51 million 6.71 -$11.84 million ($3.90) -0.55
bluebird bio $35.43 million 311.33 -$335.64 million ($7.66) -28.81

Heat Biologics has higher earnings, but lower revenue than bluebird bio. bluebird bio is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Heat Biologics, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Risk & Volatility

Heat Biologics has a beta of 0.79, meaning that its stock price is 21% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, bluebird bio has a beta of 2.06, meaning that its stock price is 106% more volatile than the S&P 500.


Heat Biologics beats bluebird bio on 7 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Heat Biologics

Heat Biologics, Inc. is a development-stage company focused on developing allogeneic, off-the-shelf cellular therapeutic vaccines to combat a range of cancers. The Company is an immuno-oncology company, which focuses on T cell-stimulating platform technologies, such as Immune Pan-Antigen Cytotoxic Therapy (ImPACT) and Combination Pan-Antigen Cytotoxic Therapy (ComPACT). Using its ImPACT platform technology, the Company has developed HS-410 (vesigenurtacel-L) as a product candidate to treat non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC), and HS-110 (viagenpumatucel-L), which is intended for use in combination with an anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor, as a potential treatment for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Using its ComPACT platform technology, it has developed HS-120 as a potential treatment for NSCLC. It is conducting a Phase II trial of HS-410 in patients with NMIBC, and a Phase Ib trial of HS-110, in combination with nivolumab (Opdivo) to treat patients with NSCLC.

About bluebird bio

bluebird bio, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company. The Company is focused on developing gene therapies for severe diseases and cancer. With its lentiviral-based gene therapy and gene editing capabilities, it has built an integrated product platform with various applications in these areas. The Company’s clinical programs in severe genetic diseases include its LentiGlobin product candidate to treat transfusion-dependent b-thalassemia and to treat severe sickle cell disease (SCD) and its Lenti-D product candidate to treat cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy (CALD). Its programs in oncology focuses on developing T cell-based immunotherapies, including chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) and T cell receptor (TCR) T cell therapies. bb2121, its lead product candidate in oncology, is a CAR T cell product candidate for the treatment of multiple myeloma. It also has discovery research programs utilizing megaTALs/homing endonuclease gene editing technologies for use across its pipeline.

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