Buy, Sell or Hold? Detail Analysis Valley National Bancorp (VLY) or At Akorn, Inc. (AKRX)?

The shares of Valley National Bancorp have increased by more than 27.03% this year alone. The shares recently went down by -2.59% or -$0.3 and now trades at $11.28. The shares of Akorn, Inc. (NASDAQ:AKRX), has jumped by 12.68% year to date as of 12/02/2019. The shares currently trade at $3.82 and have been able to report a change of -0.52% over the past one week.

The stock of Valley National Bancorp and Akorn, Inc. were two of the most active stocks on Monday. Investors seem to be very interested in what happens to the stocks of these two companies but do investors favor one over the other? We will analyze the growth, profitability, risk, valuation, and insider trends of both companies and see which one investors prefer.

Profitability and Returns

Growth alone cannot be used to see if the company will be valuable. Shareholders will be the losers if a company invest in ventures that aren’t profitable enough to support upbeat growth. In order for us to accurately measure profitability and return, we will be using the EBITDA margin and Return on Investment (ROI), which balances the difference in capital structure. VLY has an EBITDA margin of 89.18%, this implies that the underlying business of VLY is more profitable. The ROI of VLY is 21.30% while that of AKRX is -28.10%. These figures suggest that VLY ventures generate a higher ROI than that of AKRX.

Cash Flow

The value of a stock is ultimately determined by the amount of cash flow that the investors have available. Over the last 12 months, VLY’s free cash flow per share is a positive 1.03.

Liquidity and Financial Risk

The ability of a company to meet up with its short-term obligations and be able to clear its longer-term debts is measured using Liquidity and leverage ratios. The debt ratio of VLY is 0.69 compared to 2.68 for AKRX. AKRX can be able to settle its long-term debts and thus is a lower financial risk than VLY.


VLY currently trades at a forward P/E of 11.42, a P/B of 1.12, and a P/S of 2.95 while AKRX trades at a forward P/E of 13.84, a P/B of 1.54, and a P/S of 0.75. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, VLY is the cheaper one. It is very obvious that earnings are the most important factors to investors, thus analysts are most likely to place their bet on the P/E.

Analyst Price Targets and Opinions

The mistake some people make is that they think a cheap stock has more value to it. In order to know the value of a stock, there is need to compare its current price to its likely trading price in the future. The price of VLY is currently at a -10.19% to its one-year price target of 12.56. Looking at its rival pricing, AKRX is at a -43.82% relative to its price target of 6.80.

When looking at the investment recommendation on say a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being a strong buy, 3 a hold, and 5 a sell), VLY is given a 2.40 while 2.70 placed for AKRX. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for AKRX stocks.

Insider Activity and Investor Sentiment

Short interest or otherwise called the percentage of a stock’s tradable shares currently being shorted is another data that investors use to get a handle on sentiment. The short ratio for VLY is 9.37 while that of AKRX is just 4.75. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for AKRX stock.


The stock of Akorn, Inc. defeats that of Valley National Bancorp when the two are compared, with AKRX taking 5 out of the total factors that were been considered. AKRX happens to be more profitable, generates a higher ROI, has higher cash flow per share, higher liquidity and has a lower financial risk. When looking at the stock valuation, AKRX is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for AKRX is better on when it is viewed on short interest.