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If you want to know who really controls NovoCure Limited (NASDAQ:NVCR), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. 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.
NovoCure is a pretty big company. It has a market capitalization of US$8.5b. 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. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about NovoCure.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About NovoCure?
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 NovoCure. 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. 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 NovoCure, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.
Investors should note that institutions actually own more than half the company, so they can collectively wield significant power. NovoCure is not owned by hedge funds. Capital Research and Management Company is currently the company's largest shareholder with 23% of shares outstanding. With 9.0% and 8.6% of the shares outstanding respectively, Baillie Gifford & Co. and Hansjoerg Wyss are the second and third largest shareholders.
To make our study more interesting, we found that the top 5 shareholders control more than half of the company which implies that this group has considerable sway over the company's decision-making.
While it makes sense to study institutional ownership data for a company, it also makes sense to study analyst sentiments to know which way the wind is blowing. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.
Insider Ownership Of NovoCure
While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. 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.
It seems insiders own a significant proportion of NovoCure Limited. Insiders own US$1.2b worth of shares in the US$8.5b company. That's quite meaningful. It is good to see this level of investment. You can check here to see if those insiders have been buying recently.
General Public Ownership
The general public, who are usually individual investors, hold a 10% stake in NovoCure. This size of ownership, while considerable, may not be enough to change company policy if the decision is not in sync with other large shareholders.
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. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for NovoCure you should know about.
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.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.