CRISPR Therapeutics AG (CRSP) Is Up 13.6% Today - Is It Still an Opportunity?

Biotechnology company CRISPR Therapeutics AG is standing out today, surging to $58.58 and marking a 13.6% change. In comparison the S&P 500 moved only 0.0%. CRSP is -33.53% below its average analyst target price of $88.13, which implies there is more upside for the stock.

As such, the average analyst rates it at buy. Over the last year, shares of CRISPR Therapeutics AG have offered a similar return to the S&P 500, moving 15.0%.

CRISPR Therapeutics AG, a gene editing company, focuses on developing gene-based medicines for serious diseases using its Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) platform. The company is categorized within the healthcare sector. The catalysts that drive valuations in this sector are complex. From demographics, regulations, scientific breakthroughs, to the emergence of new diseases, healthcare companies see their prices swing on the basis of a variety of factors.

CRISPR Therapeutics AG does not publish either its forward or trailing P/E ratios because their values are negative -- meaning that each share of stock represents a net earnings loss. But we can calculate these P/E ratios anyways using the stocks forward and trailing (EPS) values of $-6.77 and $-5.3. We can see that CRSP has a forward P/E ratio of -8.7 and a trailing P/E ratio of -11.1.

The P/E ratio is the company's share price divided by its earnings per share. In other words, it represents how much investors are willing to spend for each dollar of the company's earnings (revenues minus the cost of goods sold, taxes, and overhead). As of the first quarter of 2023, the health care sector has an average P/E ratio of 24.45, and the average for the S&P 500 is 15.97.

The main limitation with P/E ratios is that they don't take into account the growth of earnings. This means that a company with a higher than average P/E ratio may still be undervalued if it has high projected earnings growth. Conversely, a company with a low P/E ratio may not present a good value proposition if its projected earnings are stagnant.

When we divide CRISPR Therapeutics AG's P/E ratio by its projected 5 year earnings growth rate, we obtain its Price to Earnings Growth (PEG) ratio of 0.04. Since a PEG ratio of 1 or less may indicate that the company's valuation is proportionate to its growth potential, we see here that investors are undervaluing CRSP's growth potential .

To better understand the strength of CRISPR Therapeutics AG's business, we can analyse its operating margins, which are its revenues minus its operating costs. Consistently strong margins backed by a positive trend can signal that a company is on track to deliver returns for its shareholders. Here's the operating margin statistics for the last four years:

Date Reported Total Revenue ($ k) Operating Expenses ($ k) Operating Margins (%) YoY Growth (%)
2023 170,100 643,739 -249 99.54
2022 1,198 674,359 -54299 -132536.59
2021 914,963 541,435 41 100.08
2020 719 355,154 -48408 -210569.57
2019 289,590 242,850 23 100.45
2018 3,124 162,067 -5088
  • Average operating margins: -17996.7 %
  • Average operating margins growth rate: 39.5 %
  • Coefficient of variability (lower numbers indicate less volatility): 544.4 %

Another key to assessing a company's health is to look at its free cash flow, which is calculated on the basis of its total cash flow from operating activities minus its capital expenditures. Capital expenditures are the costs of maintaining fixed assets such as land, buildings, and equipment. From CRISPR Therapeutics AG's last four annual reports, we are able to obtain the following rundown of its free cash flow:

Date Reported Cash Flow from Operations ($ k) Capital expenditures ($ k) Free Cash Flow ($ k) YoY Growth (%)
2023 -342,992 18,822 -361,814 32.11
2022 -495,741 37,188 -532,929 -216.55
2021 538,972 81,705 457,267 278.12
2020 -238,366 18,358 -256,724 -613.52
2019 56,677 6,684 49,993 150.49
2018 -96,239 2,773 -99,012
  • Average free cash flow: $-123869833.3
  • Average free cash flown growth rate: -24.1 %
  • Coefficient of variability (the lower the better): 572.6 %

If it weren't negative, the free cash flow would represent the amount of money available for reinvestment in the business, or for payments to equity investors in the form of a dividend. While a negative cash flow for one or two quarters is not a sign of financial troubles for CRSP, a long term trend of negative or highly erratic cash flow levels may indicate a struggling business or a mismanaged company.

Value investors often analyze stocks through the lens of its Price to Book (P/B) Ratio (market value divided by book value). The book value refers to the present value of the company if the company were to sell off all of its assets and pay all of its debts today - a number whose value may differ significantly depending on the accounting method.

CRISPR Therapeutics AG has a P/B ratio of 2.45. This indicates that the market value of the company exceeds its book value by a factor of more than 2, but is still below the average P/B ratio of the Health Care sector, which stood at 4.16 as of the first quarter of 2023.

CRISPR Therapeutics AG is by most measures overvalued because it has a negative P/E ratio, a lower P/B ratio than its sector average, and an unconvincing cash flow history with a downwards trend. The stock has poor growth indicators because it has a a negative PEG ratio and consistently negative margins with a positive growth rate. We hope you enjoyed this overview of CRSP's fundamentals.

The above analysis is intended for educational purposes only and was performed on the basis of publicly available data. It is not to be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security. Any buy, sell, or other recommendations mentioned in the article are direct quotations of consensus recommendations from the analysts covering the stock, and do not represent the opinions of Market Inference or its writers. Past performance, accounting data, and inferences about market position and corporate valuation are not reliable indicators of future price movements. Market Inference does not provide financial advice. Investors should conduct their own review and analysis of any company of interest before making an investment decision.