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What Kind Of Shareholder Owns Most Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:XENE) Stock?

Andrew Carroll

Every investor in Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:XENE) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it’s not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of smaller companies. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.

Xenon Pharmaceuticals is not a large company by global standards. It has a market capitalization of US$173m, which means it wouldn’t have the attention 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 take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about XENE.

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NasdaqGM:XENE Ownership Summary January 18th 19

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Xenon Pharmaceuticals?

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.

We can see that Xenon Pharmaceuticals does have institutional investors; and they hold 58% of the stock. 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. 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 Xenon Pharmaceuticals’s historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.

NasdaqGM:XENE Income Statement Export January 18th 19

Investors should note that institutions actually own more than half the company, so they can collectively wield significant power. Our data indicates that hedge funds own 9.4% of Xenon Pharmaceuticals. That’s interesting, because hedge funds can be quite active and activist. Many look for medium term catalysts that will drive the share price higher. There are a reasonable number of analysts covering the stock, so it might be useful to find out their aggregate view on the future.

Insider Ownership Of Xenon Pharmaceuticals

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.

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.

Shareholders would probably be interested to learn that insiders own shares in Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc.. As individuals, the insiders collectively own US$6.2m worth of the US$173m 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

With a 23% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over XENE. While this group can’t necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

Private Equity Ownership

With a stake of 5.6%, private equity firms could influence the XENE board. 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.

Next Steps:

It’s always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Xenon Pharmaceuticals 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.

Ultimately the future is most important. You can access this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

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.