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Every investor in Exscientia plc (NASDAQ:EXAI) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it's not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of smaller companies. Warren Buffett said that he likes "a business with enduring competitive advantages that is run by able and owner-oriented people." So it's nice to see some insider ownership, because it may suggest that management is owner-oriented.
Exscientia has a market capitalization of US$1.4b, so we would expect some institutional investors to have noticed the stock. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let's delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about Exscientia.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Exscientia?
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.
Exscientia 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. If multiple institutions change their view on a stock at the same time, you could see the share price drop fast. It's therefore worth looking at Exscientia's earnings history below. Of course, the future is what really matters.
Exscientia is not owned by hedge funds. The company's CEO Andrew Hopkins is the largest shareholder with 16% of shares outstanding. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 11% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 4.7% by the third-largest shareholder.
Our studies suggest that the top 25 shareholders collectively control less than half of the company's shares, meaning that the company's shares are widely disseminated and there is no dominant shareholder.
While it makes sense to study institutional ownership data for a company, it also makes sense to study analyst sentiments to know which way the wind is blowing. 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 Exscientia
The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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.
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 most recent data indicates that insiders own a reasonable proportion of Exscientia plc. It is very interesting to see that insiders have a meaningful US$225m stake in this US$1.4b business. Most would say this shows a good degree of alignment with shareholders, especially in a company of this size. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.
General Public Ownership
The general public, mostly comprising of individual investors, collectively holds 52% of Exscientia shares. This size of ownership gives investors from the general public some collective power. They can and probably do influence decisions on executive compensation, dividend policies and proposed business acquisitions.
Private Equity Ownership
Private equity firms hold a 11% stake in Exscientia. This suggests they can be influential in key policy decisions. 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.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Take risks for example - Exscientia has 3 warning signs (and 1 which can't be ignored) we think you should know about.
But ultimately it is the future, not the past, that will determine how well the owners of this business will do. Therefore we think it advisable to take a look at this free report showing whether analysts are predicting a brighter future.
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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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.