Every investor in Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALXN) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. We also tend to see lower insider ownership in companies that were previously publicly owned.
Alexion Pharmaceuticals is a pretty big company. It has a market capitalization of US$34b. Normally institutions would own a significant portion of a company this size. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it seems that institutional investors have bought into the company. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about Alexion Pharmaceuticals.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Alexion 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.
As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in Alexion Pharmaceuticals. 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. 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 Alexion Pharmaceuticals, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.
Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in Alexion Pharmaceuticals. The Vanguard Group, Inc. is currently the company's largest shareholder with 8.8% of shares outstanding. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 8.3% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 4.8% by the third-largest shareholder.
Looking at the shareholder registry, we can see that 50% of the ownership is controlled by the top 21 shareholders, meaning that no single shareholder has a majority interest in the ownership.
Researching institutional ownership is a good way to gauge and filter a stock's expected performance. The same can be achieved by studying analyst sentiments. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.
Insider Ownership Of Alexion Pharmaceuticals
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. 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.
Our information suggests that Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. insiders own under 1% of the company. As it is a large company, we'd only expect insiders to own a small percentage of it. But it's worth noting that they own US$105m worth of shares. It is good to see board members owning shares, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.
General Public Ownership
With a 10% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over Alexion Pharmaceuticals. 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.
It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Alexion Pharmaceuticals better, we need to consider many other factors. For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for Alexion Pharmaceuticals that you should be aware of.
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.
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. 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.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.