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Do You Know Who Else Invests In Unity Biotechnology Inc (NASDAQ:UBX)?

Kelly Murphy

If you want to know who really controls Unity Biotechnology Inc (NASDAQ:UBX), then you’ll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it’s not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of smaller companies. I generally like to see some degree of insider ownership, even if only a little. As Nassim Nicholas Taleb said, ‘Don’t tell me what you think, tell me what you have in your portfolio.’

With a market capitalization of US$834.0m, Unity Biotechnology is a decent size, so it is probably on the radar of 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 UBX.

Check out our latest analysis for Unity Biotechnology

NasdaqGS:UBX Ownership Summary September 20th 18

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Unity Biotechnology?

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.

We can see that Unity Biotechnology does have institutional investors; and they hold 43.9% of the stock. 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 Unity Biotechnology’s historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.

NasdaqGS:UBX Income Statement Export September 20th 18

Hedge funds don’t have many shares in Unity Biotechnology. There is some analyst coverage of the stock, but it could still become more well known, with time.

Insider Ownership Of Unity Biotechnology

The definition of company insiders can be subjective, and does vary between jurisdictions. Our data reflects individual insiders, capturing board members at the very least. 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.

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.

We can see that insiders own shares in Unity Biotechnology Inc. It has a market capitalization of just US$834.0m, and insiders have US$79.4m worth of shares, in their own names. 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, with a 16.1% stake in the company, will not 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

Private equity firms hold a 30.1% stake in UBX. This suggests they can be influential in key policy decisions. Some might like this, because private equity are sometimes activists who hold management accountable. But other times, private equity is selling out, having taking the company public.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important.

Many find it useful to take an in depth look at how a company has performed in the past. You can access this detailed graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow .

But ultimately it is the future, not the past, that will determine how well the owners of this business will do. Therefore we think it advisable to take a look at this free report showing whether analysts are predicting a brighter 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.

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.