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What Kind Of Investor Owns Most Of Advaxis, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADXS)?

Simply Wall St

The big shareholder groups in Advaxis, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADXS) have power over the company. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. Companies that used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.

With a market capitalization of US$24m, Advaxis is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. In the chart below below, we can see that institutions own shares in the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about ADXS.

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NasdaqGS:ADXS Ownership Summary, May 25th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Advaxis?

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.

Advaxis already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 17% 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. 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 Advaxis's earnings history, below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

NasdaqGS:ADXS Income Statement, May 25th 2019

It would appear that 28% of Advaxis shares are controlled by hedge funds. 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 is a little analyst coverage of the stock, but not much. So there is room for it to gain more coverage.

Insider Ownership Of Advaxis

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.

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.

We can see that insiders own shares in Advaxis, Inc.. In their own names, insiders own US$311k worth of stock in the US$24m 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, who are mostly retail investors, collectively hold 51% of Advaxis shares. 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.

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 find historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.

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.