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Do Institutions Own Shares In Acer Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ACER)?

A look at the shareholders of Acer Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ACER) can tell us which group is most powerful. Institutions will often hold stock in bigger companies, and we expect to see insiders owning a noticeable percentage of the smaller ones. 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.’

Acer Therapeutics is a smaller company with a market capitalization of US$284m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. Taking a look at the our data on the ownership groups (below), it’s seems that institutions own shares in the company. Let’s delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about ACER.

See our latest analysis for Acer Therapeutics

NasdaqCM:ACER Ownership Summary October 9th 18

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Acer Therapeutics?

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.

We can see that Acer Therapeutics does have institutional investors; and they hold 7.8% of the stock. 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 Acer Therapeutics’s historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.

NasdaqCM:ACER Income Statement Export October 9th 18

Acer Therapeutics is not owned by hedge funds. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of Acer Therapeutics

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. 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.

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.

It seems insiders own a significant proportion of Acer Therapeutics Inc. It has a market capitalization of just US$284m, and insiders have US$54m worth of shares in their own names. It is great to see insiders so invested in the business. It might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying recently.

General Public Ownership

With a 36% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over ACER. This size of ownership, while considerable, may not be enough to change company policy if the decision is not in sync with other large shareholders.

Private Equity Ownership

With a stake of 32%, private equity firms could influence the ACER board. Sometimes we see private equity stick around for the long term, but generally speaking they have a shorter investment horizon and — as the name suggests — don’t invest in public companies much. After some time they may look to sell and redeploy capital elsewhere.

Public Company Ownership

We can see that public companies hold 5.4%, of the ACER 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:

I find it very interesting to look at who exactly owns a company. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too.

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 .

If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow of shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its 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.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.