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How Many Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:SNSS) Shares Do Institutions Own?

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A look at the shareholders of Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:SNSS) 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.

Sunesis Pharmaceuticals is not a large company by global standards. It has a market capitalization of US$62m, which means it wouldn't have the attention of many institutional investors. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions own shares in the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about SNSS.

View our latest analysis for Sunesis Pharmaceuticals

NasdaqCM:SNSS Ownership Summary, July 15th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Sunesis 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 Sunesis Pharmaceuticals does have institutional investors; and they hold 34% 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 Sunesis Pharmaceuticals's historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

NasdaqCM:SNSS Income Statement, July 15th 2019

It would appear that 6.8% of Sunesis Pharmaceuticals shares are controlled by hedge funds. That worth noting, since hedge funds are often quite active investors, who may try to influence management. Many want to see value creation (and a higher share price) in the short term or medium term. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of Sunesis 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. 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.

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 less than 1% of Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.. It appears that the board holds about US$148k worth of stock. This compares to a market capitalization of US$62m. Many tend to prefer to see a board with bigger shareholdings. A good next step might be to take a look at this free summary of insider buying and selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public holds a 43% stake in SNSS. 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 an ownership of 16%, private equity firms are in a position to play a role in shaping corporate strategy with a focus on value creation. 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:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Sunesis 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 access this interactive graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow, for free .

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.

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.