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Can We See Significant Institutional Ownership On The Geron Corporation (NASDAQ:GERN) Share Register?

Simply Wall St

A look at the shareholders of Geron Corporation (NASDAQ:GERN) can tell us which group is most powerful. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. Companies that used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.

With a market capitalization of US$358m, Geron is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by 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 GERN.

See our latest analysis for Geron

NasdaqGS:GERN Ownership Summary, April 24th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Geron?

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.

We can see that Geron does have institutional investors; and they hold 35% of the 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. 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 Geron, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

NasdaqGS:GERN Income Statement, April 24th 2019

We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in Geron. While there is some analyst coverage, the company is probably not widely covered. So it could gain more attention, down the track.

Insider Ownership Of Geron

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.

Our most recent data indicates that insiders own less than 1% of Geron Corporation. It seems the board members have no more than US$1.3m worth of shares in the US$358m company. Many tend to prefer to see a board with bigger shareholdings. A good next step might be to take a look at this free summary of insider buying and selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, mostly retail investors, hold a substantial 65% stake in GERN, suggesting it is a fairly popular stock. With this size of ownership, retail investors can collectively play a role in decisions that affect shareholder returns, such as dividend policies and the appointment of directors. They can also exercise the power to decline an acquisition or merger that may not improve profitability.

Next Steps:

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

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.

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.

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.