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Could The ARCA biopharma, Inc. (NASDAQ:ABIO) Ownership Structure Tell Us Something Useful?

Simply Wall St

A look at the shareholders of ARCA biopharma, Inc. (NASDAQ:ABIO) can tell us which group is most powerful. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it's not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of smaller companies. We also tend to see lower insider ownership in companies that were previously publicly owned.

ARCA biopharma is a smaller company with a market capitalization of US$7.7m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutional investors have bought into the company. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about ABIO.

View our latest analysis for ARCA biopharma

NasdaqCM:ABIO Ownership Summary, September 4th 2019
NasdaqCM:ABIO Ownership Summary, September 4th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About ARCA biopharma?

Institutions typically measure themselves against a benchmark when reporting to their own investors, so they often become more enthusiastic about a stock once it's included in a major index. We would expect most companies to have some institutions on the register, especially if they are growing.

ARCA biopharma already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 13% of the company. 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 ARCA biopharma's historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

NasdaqCM:ABIO Income Statement, September 4th 2019
NasdaqCM:ABIO Income Statement, September 4th 2019

It would appear that 5.5% of ARCA biopharma shares are controlled by hedge funds. That worth noting, since hedge funds are often quite active investors, who may try to influence management. Many want to see value creation (and a higher share price) in the short term or medium term. There is a little analyst coverage of the stock, but not much. So there is room for it to gain more coverage.

Insider Ownership Of ARCA biopharma

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

Insider ownership is positive when it signals leadership are thinking like the true owners of the company. However, high insider ownership can also give immense power to a small group within the company. This can be negative in some circumstances.

Our data suggests that insiders own under 1% of ARCA biopharma, Inc. in their own names. It seems the board members have no more than US$48k worth of shares in the US$7.7m company. Many tend to prefer to see a board with bigger shareholdings. A good next step might be to take a look at this free summary of insider buying and selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, who are mostly retail investors, collectively hold 80% of ARCA biopharma shares. This size of ownership gives retail investors collective power. They can and probably do influence decisions on executive compensation, dividend policies and proposed business acquisitions.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important.

I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can access this interactive graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow, for free .

Ultimately the future is most important. You can access this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

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.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.