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A look at the shareholders of Sierra Oncology, Inc. (NASDAQ:SRRA) can tell us which group is most powerful. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.
With a market capitalization of US$234m, Sierra Oncology is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it seems that institutions own shares in the company. Let's delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about Sierra Oncology.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Sierra Oncology?
Many institutions measure their performance against an index that approximates the local market. So they usually pay more attention to companies that are included in major indices.
As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in Sierra Oncology. 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 Sierra Oncology, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.
It looks like hedge funds own 16% of Sierra Oncology shares. That catches my attention because hedge funds sometimes try to influence management, or bring about changes that will create near term value for shareholders. The company's largest shareholder is Vivo Capital, LLC, with ownership of 13%. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 9.8% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 8.7% by the third-largest shareholder.
We did some more digging and found that 6 of the top shareholders account for roughly 53% of the register, implying that along with larger shareholders, there are a few smaller shareholders, thereby balancing out each others interests somewhat.
While studying institutional ownership for a company can add value to your research, it is also a good practice to research analyst recommendations to get a deeper understand of a stock's expected performance. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.
Insider Ownership Of Sierra Oncology
The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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.
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 information suggests that Sierra Oncology, Inc. insiders own under 1% of the company. It appears that the board holds about US$768k worth of stock. This compares to a market capitalization of US$234m. Many investors in smaller companies prefer to see the board more heavily invested. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.
General Public Ownership
The general public-- including retail investors -- own 15% stake in the company, and hence can't easily be ignored. 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.
Private Equity Ownership
With an ownership of 42%, private equity firms are in a position to play a role in shaping corporate strategy with a focus on value creation. Some investors might be encouraged by this, since private equity are sometimes able to encourage strategies that help the market see the value in the company. Alternatively, those holders might be exiting the investment after taking it public.
Public Company Ownership
We can see that public companies hold 4.8% of the Sierra Oncology 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.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Be aware that Sierra Oncology is showing 4 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those shouldn't be ignored...
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.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.