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What Is The Ownership Structure Like For Aquestive Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:AQST)?

Simply Wall St
·5 mins read

Every investor in Aquestive Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:AQST) 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. I quite like to see at least a little bit of insider ownership. As Charlie Munger said 'Show me the incentive and I will show you the outcome.

Aquestive Therapeutics is a smaller company with a market capitalization of US$158m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutional investors have bought into the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Aquestive Therapeutics.

View our latest analysis for Aquestive Therapeutics

NasdaqGM:AQST Ownership Breakdown July 6th 2020
NasdaqGM:AQST Ownership Breakdown July 6th 2020

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Aquestive Therapeutics?

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 Aquestive Therapeutics does have institutional investors; and they hold a good portion of the company's stock. This implies the analysts working for those institutions have looked at the stock and they like it. But just like anyone else, they could be wrong. 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 Aquestive Therapeutics's earnings history, below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

NasdaqGM:AQST Earnings and Revenue Growth July 6th 2020
NasdaqGM:AQST Earnings and Revenue Growth July 6th 2020

It looks like hedge funds own 5.2% of Aquestive Therapeutics shares. That catches my attention because hedge funds sometimes try to influence management, or bring about changes that will create near term value for shareholders. Looking at our data, we can see that the largest shareholder is Bratton Capital Management LP with 34% of shares outstanding. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 5.8% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 5.2% by the third-largest shareholder. In addition, we found that Keith Kendall, the CEO has 1.9% of the shares allocated to his name

We did some more digging and found that 6 of the top shareholders account for roughly 52% of the register, implying that along with larger shareholders, there are a few smaller shareholders, thereby balancing out each others interests somewhat.

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 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 Aquestive Therapeutics

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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 Aquestive Therapeutics, Inc.. As individuals, the insiders collectively own US$11m worth of the US$158m company. It is good to see some investment by insiders, but I usually like to see higher insider holdings. It might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.

General Public Ownership

The general public holds a 35% stake in AQST. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

Private Company Ownership

It seems that Private Companies own 5.8%, of the AQST stock. Private companies may be related parties. Sometimes insiders have an interest in a public company through a holding in a private company, rather than in their own capacity as an individual. While it's hard to draw any broad stroke conclusions, it is worth noting as an area for further research.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. For instance, we've identified 3 warning signs for Aquestive Therapeutics that you should be aware of.

If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its 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@simplywallst.com.