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If you want to know who really controls Vir Biotechnology, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIR), 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. Warren Buffett said that he likes "a business with enduring competitive advantages that is run by able and owner-oriented people." So it's nice to see some insider ownership, because it may suggest that management is owner-oriented.
Vir Biotechnology has a market capitalization of US$5.5b, so it's too big to fly under the radar. We'd expect to see both institutions and retail investors owning a portion of the company. In the chart 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 shareholders can tell us about Vir Biotechnology.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Vir 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.
As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in Vir Biotechnology. 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. If multiple institutions change their view on a stock at the same time, you could see the share price drop fast. It's therefore worth looking at Vir Biotechnology's earnings history below. Of course, the future is what really matters.
Hedge funds don't have many shares in Vir Biotechnology. Arch Venture Partners, L.P. is currently the company's largest shareholder with 23% of shares outstanding. With 18% and 5.2% of the shares outstanding respectively, SoftBank Investment Advisers (UK) Limited and GlaxoSmithKline plc are the second and third largest shareholders. Additionally, the company's CEO George Scangos directly holds 5.2% of the total shares outstanding.
To make our study more interesting, we found that the top 4 shareholders control more than half of the company which implies that this group has considerable sway over the company's decision-making.
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. 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 Vir 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.
I can report that insiders do own shares in Vir Biotechnology, Inc.. The insiders have a meaningful stake worth US$418m. Most would see this as a real positive. If you would like to explore the question of insider alignment, you can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.
General Public Ownership
With a 15% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over Vir Biotechnology. 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 40%, 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 5.2% of the Vir Biotechnology shares on issue. We can't be certain but it is quite possible this is a strategic stake. The businesses may be similar, or work together.
I find it very interesting to look at who exactly owns a company. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. To that end, you should be aware of the 3 warning signs we've spotted with Vir Biotechnology .
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.
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