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Who Owns Most Of Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:CNAT)?

Yolanda Lovett

Every investor in Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:CNAT) 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. Companies that used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.

Conatus Pharmaceuticals is not a large company by global standards. It has a market capitalization of US$131.5m, which means it wouldn’t have the attention of many institutional investors. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let’s take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about CNAT.

See our latest analysis for Conatus Pharmaceuticals

NasdaqGM:CNAT Ownership Summary September 18th 18

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Conatus Pharmaceuticals?

Institutional investors commonly compare their own returns to the returns of a commonly followed index. So they generally do consider buying larger companies that are included in the relevant benchmark index.

Conatus Pharmaceuticals already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 26.4% of the company. This can indicate that the company has a certain degree of credibility in the investment community. However, it is best to be wary of relying on the supposed validation that comes with institutional investors. They too, get it wrong sometimes. 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 Conatus Pharmaceuticals’s historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.

NasdaqGM:CNAT Income Statement Export September 18th 18

Conatus Pharmaceuticals is not owned by hedge funds. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of Conatus Pharmaceuticals

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. 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.

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.

We can see that insiders own shares in Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. It has a market capitalization of just US$131.5m, and insiders have US$4.4m worth of shares, in their own names. Some would say this shows alignment of interests between shareholders and the board, though I generally prefer to see bigger insider holdings. But it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, who are mostly retail investors, collectively hold 54.8% of Conatus Pharmaceuticals shares. This size of ownership gives retail investors collective power. They can and probably do influence decisions on executive compensation, dividend policies and proposed business acquisitions.

Private Equity Ownership

With an ownership of 15.4%, 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 Conatus Pharmaceuticals better, we need to consider many other factors.

I always like to check for a history of revenue growth. You can too, by accessing this free chart of historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.

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.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.