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Is Altimmune, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALT) Popular Amongst Institutions?

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Simply Wall St
·5 min read
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The big shareholder groups in Altimmune, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALT) have power over the company. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.

Altimmune is a smaller company with a market capitalization of US$494m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Altimmune.

Check out our latest analysis for Altimmune

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Altimmune?

Many institutions measure their performance against an index that approximates the local market. So they usually pay more attention to companies that are included in major indices.

As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in Altimmune. This implies the analysts working for those institutions have looked at the stock and they like it. But just like anyone else, they could be wrong. When multiple institutions own a stock, there's always a risk that they are in a 'crowded trade'. When such a trade goes wrong, multiple parties may compete to sell stock fast. This risk is higher in a company without a history of growth. You can see Altimmune's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

It looks like hedge funds own 11% of Altimmune shares. That catches my attention because hedge funds sometimes try to influence management, or bring about changes that will create near term value for shareholders. Venrock is currently the largest shareholder, with 12% of shares outstanding. Meanwhile, the second and third largest shareholders, hold 6.0% and 5.4%, of the shares outstanding, respectively. In addition, we found that Vipin Garg, the CEO has 0.9% of the shares allocated to their name.

A closer look at our ownership figures suggests that the top 11 shareholders have a combined ownership of 50% implying that no single shareholder has a majority.

Researching institutional ownership is a good way to gauge and filter a stock's expected performance. The same can be achieved by studying analyst sentiments. There are a reasonable number of analysts covering the stock, so it might be useful to find out their aggregate view on the future.

Insider Ownership Of Altimmune

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. The company management answer to the board and the latter should represent the interests of shareholders. Notably, sometimes top-level managers are on the board themselves.

Most consider insider ownership a positive because it can indicate the board is well aligned with other shareholders. However, on some occasions too much power is concentrated within this group.

I can report that insiders do own shares in Altimmune, Inc.. In their own names, insiders own US$6.2m worth of stock in the US$494m company. It is good to see some investment by insiders, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.

General Public Ownership

With a 34% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over Altimmune. This size of ownership, while considerable, may not be enough to change company policy if the decision is not in sync with other large shareholders.

Private Equity Ownership

With a stake of 12%, private equity firms could influence the Altimmune board. Sometimes we see private equity stick around for the long term, but generally speaking they have a shorter investment horizon and -- as the name suggests -- don't invest in public companies much. After some time they may look to sell and redeploy capital elsewhere.

Private Company Ownership

It seems that Private Companies own 4.6%, of the Altimmune stock. It might be worth looking deeper into this. If related parties, such as insiders, have an interest in one of these private companies, that should be disclosed in the annual report. Private companies may also have a strategic interest in the company.

Next Steps:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Altimmune better, we need to consider many other factors. For example, we've discovered 2 warning signs for Altimmune (1 is concerning!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

If you would prefer discover what analysts are predicting in terms of future growth, do not miss this free report on analyst forecasts.

NB: Figures in this article are calculated using data from the last twelve months, which refer to the 12-month period ending on the last date of the month the financial statement is dated. This may not be consistent with full year annual report figures.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.