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What Kind Of Investor Owns Most Of NantKwest, Inc. (NASDAQ:NK)?

Simply Wall St

The big shareholder groups in NantKwest, Inc. (NASDAQ:NK) have power over the company. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. 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.

NantKwest is a smaller company with a market capitalization of US$109m, 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. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about NK.

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See our latest analysis for NantKwest

NasdaqGS:NK Ownership Summary, May 23rd 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About NantKwest?

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.

As you can see, institutional investors own 14% of NantKwest. 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 NantKwest's historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

NasdaqGS:NK Income Statement, May 23rd 2019

NantKwest is not owned by hedge funds. 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 NantKwest

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.

Our most recent data indicates that insiders own the majority of NantKwest, Inc.. This means they can collectively make decisions for the company. That means they own US$71m worth of shares in the US$109m company. That's quite meaningful. It is good to see this level of investment. You can check here to see if those insiders have been buying recently.

General Public Ownership

The general public holds a 21% stake in NK. While this size of ownership may not be enough to sway a policy decision in their favour, they can still make a collective impact on company policies.

Next Steps:

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

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 would prefer discover what analysts are predicting in terms of future growth, do not miss this free report on analyst forecasts.

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.