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Do Insiders Own Lots Of Shares In Zai Lab Limited (NASDAQ:ZLAB)?

Simply Wall St

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If you want to know who really controls Zai Lab Limited (NASDAQ:ZLAB), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. I generally like to see some degree of insider ownership, even if only a little. As Nassim Nicholas Taleb said, 'Don’t tell me what you think, tell me what you have in your portfolio.'

With a market capitalization of US$1.9b, Zai Lab is a decent size, so it is probably on the radar of institutional investors. In the chart below below, we can see that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let's delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about ZLAB.

See our latest analysis for Zai Lab

NasdaqGM:ZLAB Ownership Summary, June 11th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Zai Lab?

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.

Zai Lab already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 29% of 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. It is not uncommon to see a big share price drop if two large institutional investors try to sell out of a stock at the same time. So it is worth checking the past earnings trajectory of Zai Lab, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

NasdaqGM:ZLAB Income Statement, June 11th 2019

Our data indicates that hedge funds own 5.1% of Zai Lab. 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 are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of Zai Lab

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. Management ultimately answers to the board. However, it is not uncommon for managers to be executive board members, especially if they are a founder or the CEO.

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.

Our most recent data indicates that insiders own a reasonable proportion of Zai Lab Limited. It is very interesting to see that insiders have a meaningful US$221m stake in this US$1.9b business. Most would be pleased to see the board is investing alongside them. You may wish to access this free chart showing recent trading by insiders.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 10% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

Private Equity Ownership

Private equity firms hold a 27% stake in ZLAB. 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.

Private Company Ownership

It seems that Private Companies own 17%, of the ZLAB stock. Private companies may be related parties. Sometimes insiders have an interest in a public company through a holding in a private company, rather than in their own capacity as an individual. While it's hard to draw any broad stroke conclusions, it is worth noting as an area for further research.

Next Steps:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Zai Lab better, we need to consider many other factors.

Many find it useful to take an in depth look at how a company has performed in the past. You can access this detailed graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow .

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.

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.