Every investor in Acasti Pharma Inc. (CVE:ACST) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. I quite like to see at least a little bit of insider ownership. As Charlie Munger said 'Show me the incentive and I will show you the outcome.
With a market capitalization of CA$215m, Acasti Pharma is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it's seems that institutions don't own many shares in the company. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about ACST.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Acasti Pharma?
Institutional investors commonly compare their own returns to the returns of a commonly followed index. So they generally do consider buying larger companies that are included in the relevant benchmark index.
Institutions own less than 5% of Acasti Pharma. That indicates that the company is on the radar of some funds, but it isn't particularly popular with professional investors at the moment. If the business gets stronger from here, we could see a situation where more institutions are keen to buy. We sometimes see a rising share price when a few big institutions want to buy a certain stock at the same time. The history of earnings and revenue, which you can see below, could be helpful in considering if more institutional investors will want the stock. Of course, there are plenty of other factors to consider, too.
We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in Acasti Pharma. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.
Insider Ownership Of Acasti Pharma
While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.
I generally consider insider ownership to be a good thing. However, on some occasions it makes it more difficult for other shareholders to hold the board accountable for decisions.
I can report that insiders do own shares in Acasti Pharma Inc.. In their own names, insiders own CA$14m worth of stock in the CA$215m company. Some would say this shows alignment of interests between shareholders and the board, though I generally prefer to see bigger insider holdings. But it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.
General Public Ownership
The general public -- mostly retail investors -- own 81% of Acasti Pharma. With this size of ownership, retail investors can collectively play a role in decisions that affect shareholder returns, such as dividend policies and the appointment of directors. They can also exercise the power to decline an acquisition or merger that may not improve profitability.
Private Company Ownership
We can see that Private Companies own 5.9%, of the shares on issue. It's hard to draw any conclusions from this fact alone, so its worth looking into who owns those private companies. Sometimes insiders or other related parties have an interest in shares in a public company through a separate private company.
Public Company Ownership
We can see that public companies hold 3.5%, of the ACST 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.
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.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.