U.S. Markets open in 2 hrs 41 mins

Could The CRISPR Therapeutics AG (NASDAQ:CRSP) Ownership Structure Tell Us Something Useful?

Simply Wall St

Want to participate in a short research study? Help shape the future of investing tools and earn a $40 gift card!

A look at the shareholders of CRISPR Therapeutics AG (NASDAQ:CRSP) can tell us which group is most powerful. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. Companies that used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.

CRISPR Therapeutics has a market capitalization of US$6.2b, so it's too big to fly under the radar. We'd expect to see both institutions and retail investors owning a portion of the company. In the chart below, we can see that institutions own shares in the company. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about CRISPR Therapeutics.

Check out our latest analysis for CRISPR Therapeutics

ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About CRISPR Therapeutics?

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.

CRISPR Therapeutics already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. This can indicate that the company has a certain degree of credibility in the investment community. However, it is best to be wary of relying on the supposed validation that comes with institutional investors. They too, get it wrong sometimes. 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 CRISPR Therapeutics's historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

earnings-and-revenue-growth

Institutional investors own over 50% of the company, so together than can probably strongly influence board decisions. Hedge funds don't have many shares in CRISPR Therapeutics. Our data shows that ARK Investment Management LLC is the largest shareholder with 6.3% of shares outstanding. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 6.1% and 5.5% of the stock.

A closer look at our ownership figures suggests that the top 22 shareholders have a combined ownership of 50% implying that no one share holder 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 plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of CRISPR Therapeutics

The definition of company insiders can be subjective, and does vary between jurisdictions. Our data reflects individual insiders, capturing board members at the very least. 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.

I can report that insiders do own shares in CRISPR Therapeutics AG. The insiders have a meaningful stake worth US$79m. Most would see this as a real positive. It is good to see this level of investment by insiders. You can check here to see if those insiders have been buying recently.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 33% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. While this size of ownership may not be enough to sway a policy decision in their favour, they can still make a collective impact on company policies.

Private Equity Ownership

With a stake of 6.1%, private equity firms could influence the CRSP board. Some might like this, because private equity are sometimes activists who hold management accountable. But other times, private equity is selling out, having taking the company public.

Public Company Ownership

We can see that public companies hold 8.3%, of the CRISPR Therapeutics shares on issue. It's hard to say for sure, but this suggests they have entwined business interests. This might be a strategic stake, so it's worth watching this space for changes in ownership.

Next Steps:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand CRISPR Therapeutics better, we need to consider many other factors. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for CRISPR Therapeutics you should know about.

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@simplywallst.com.