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Can We See Significant Institutional Ownership On The Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (TSE:AEZS) Share Register?

Simply Wall St

Every investor in Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (TSE:AEZS) 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 have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.

Aeterna Zentaris is not a large company by global standards. It has a market capitalization of CA$36m, which means it wouldn't have the attention of many institutional investors. In the chart below below, we can see that institutions own shares in the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about AEZS.

Check out our latest analysis for Aeterna Zentaris

TSX:AEZS Ownership Summary, September 26th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Aeterna Zentaris?

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 own 6.3% of Aeterna Zentaris. 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. 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 Aeterna Zentaris, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

TSX:AEZS Income Statement, September 26th 2019

Hedge funds don't have many shares in Aeterna Zentaris. There is some analyst coverage of the stock, but it could still become more well known, with time.

Insider Ownership Of Aeterna Zentaris

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.

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.

Our most recent data indicates that insiders own less than 1% of Aeterna Zentaris Inc.. It seems the board members have no more than CA$6.9k worth of shares in the CA$36m company. Many investors in smaller companies prefer to see the board more heavily invested. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public -- mostly retail investors -- own 65% of Aeterna Zentaris. This level of ownership gives retail investors the power to sway key policy decisions such as board composition, executive compensation, and the dividend payout ratio.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important.

Many find it useful to take an in depth look at how a company has performed in the past. You can access this detailed graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

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.