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Do Institutions Own Shares In Athersys, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATHX)?

Simply Wall St

The big shareholder groups in Athersys, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATHX) have power over the company. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.

Athersys is a smaller company with a market capitalization of US$211m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. In the chart below below, we can see that institutional investors have bought into the company. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about ATHX.

See our latest analysis for Athersys

NasdaqCM:ATHX Ownership Summary, July 31st 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Athersys?

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.

As you can see, institutional investors own 20% of Athersys. This suggests some credibility amongst professional investors. But we can't rely on that fact alone, since institutions make bad investments sometimes, just like everyone does. 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 Athersys's historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

NasdaqCM:ATHX Income Statement, July 31st 2019

We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in Athersys. There is some analyst coverage of the stock, but it could still become more well known, with time.

Insider Ownership Of Athersys

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

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.

Shareholders would probably be interested to learn that insiders own shares in Athersys, Inc.. As individuals, the insiders collectively own US$3.8m worth of the US$211m company. Some would say this shows alignment of interests between shareholders and the board. But it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public -- mostly retail investors -- own 70% of Athersys . This size of ownership gives retail investors collective power. They can and probably do influence decisions on executive compensation, dividend policies and proposed business acquisitions.

Public Company Ownership

We can see that public companies hold 8.0%, of the ATHX shares on issue. This may be a strategic interest and the two companies may have related business interests. It could be that they have de-merged. This holding is probably worth investigating further.

Next Steps:

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 .

If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or 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.

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.