PRA Health Sciences (NASDAQ: PRAH) and Syneos Health (NASDAQ:SYNH) are both mid-cap medical companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, earnings, institutional ownership, risk, profitability, valuation and analyst recommendations.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

98.8% of PRA Health Sciences shares are held by institutional investors. 0.9% of PRA Health Sciences shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.6% of Syneos Health shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares PRA Health Sciences and Syneos Health’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
PRA Health Sciences $2.26 billion 2.70 $86.92 million $3.20 29.76
Syneos Health $2.67 billion 1.85 -$138.46 million $1.94 24.85

PRA Health Sciences has higher earnings, but lower revenue than Syneos Health. Syneos Health is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than PRA Health Sciences, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.


This table compares PRA Health Sciences and Syneos Health’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
PRA Health Sciences 4.07% 23.06% 6.84%
Syneos Health -5.50% 8.79% 3.53%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations for PRA Health Sciences and Syneos Health, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
PRA Health Sciences 0 1 10 0 2.91
Syneos Health 0 2 8 0 2.80

PRA Health Sciences currently has a consensus price target of $95.18, suggesting a potential downside of 0.04%. Syneos Health has a consensus price target of $50.78, suggesting a potential upside of 5.35%. Given Syneos Health’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Syneos Health is more favorable than PRA Health Sciences.

Volatility and Risk

PRA Health Sciences has a beta of 0.49, indicating that its stock price is 51% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Syneos Health has a beta of 0.83, indicating that its stock price is 17% less volatile than the S&P 500.


PRA Health Sciences beats Syneos Health on 11 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

PRA Health Sciences Company Profile

PRA Health Sciences, Inc., a contract research organization, provides outsourced clinical development services to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries worldwide. The company operates in two segments, Clinical Research and Data Solutions. The Clinical Research segment offers product registration services, including clinical trial management, project management, regulatory affairs, therapeutic expertise, clinical operations, data and programming, safety and risk management, biostatistics and medical writing, quality assurance, and late phase services. It also provides strategic solutions, such as embedded, functional services provider, staff augmentation, and custom-built development solutions, as well as commercialization services; and early development services for Phase I and Phase IIa studies, and bioanalytical analysis. The Data Solutions segment offers data, analytics, technology, and consulting solutions to the life sciences market. Its services include targeting and compensation services, and pharmaceutical audit suite; brand analytics, managed markets, commercial effectiveness, and scientific studies/clinical hubs; and technology-enabled products and services. The company conducts clinical trials in the areas of pharmaceutical development, including oncology, central nervous system, inflammation, and infectious diseases. The company was formerly known as PRA Global Holdings, Inc. and changed its name to PRA Health Sciences, Inc. in July 2014. PRA Health Sciences, Inc. was founded in 1976 and is headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Syneos Health Company Profile

Syneos Health, Inc. operates as an integrated biopharmaceutical solutions company in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Asia-Pacific, and Latin America. It operates through two segments, Clinical Solutions and Commercial Solutions. The Clinical Solutions segment offers various clinical development services spanning Phase I to Phase IV, including full-service global studies, as well as unbundled service offerings, such as clinical monitoring, investigator recruitment, patient recruitment, data management, and study startup to assist customers with drug development process. The Commercial Solutions segment provides commercialization services, including outsourced field selling solutions, medication adherence, communications, and consulting services. Its customers include small, mid-sized, and large companies in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries. The company was formerly known as INC Research Holdings, Inc. and changed its name to Syneos Health, Inc. in January 2018. Syneos Health, Inc. was incorporated in 2010 and is headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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