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The big shareholder groups in Gritstone Oncology, Inc. (NASDAQ:GRTS) have power over the company. Institutions will often hold stock in bigger companies, and we expect to see insiders owning a noticeable percentage of the smaller ones. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.
Gritstone Oncology is not a large company by global standards. It has a market capitalization of US$538m, which means it wouldn't have the attention of many institutional investors. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it seems that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Gritstone Oncology.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Gritstone Oncology?
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.
Gritstone Oncology already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in 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 Gritstone Oncology's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.
It looks like hedge funds own 18% of Gritstone Oncology shares. That worth noting, since hedge funds are often quite active investors, who may try to influence management. Many want to see value creation (and a higher share price) in the short term or medium term. The company's largest shareholder is Wellington Management Group LLP, with ownership of 8.8%. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 7.0% and 6.3% of the stock. Furthermore, CEO Andrew Allen is the owner of 3.0% of the company's shares.
We also observed that the top 9 shareholders account for more than half of the share register, with a few smaller shareholders to balance the interests of the larger ones to a certain extent.
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 Gritstone Oncology
The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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.
We can see that insiders own shares in Gritstone Oncology, Inc.. In their own names, insiders own US$23m worth of stock in the US$538m company. Some would say this shows alignment of interests between shareholders and the board. But it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.
General Public Ownership
The general public holds a 23% stake in Gritstone Oncology. 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.
Private Equity Ownership
With a stake of 12%, private equity firms could influence the Gritstone Oncology board. 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.
Private Company Ownership
It seems that Private Companies own 3.9%, of the Gritstone Oncology stock. It's hard to draw any conclusions from this fact alone, so its worth looking into who owns those private companies. Sometimes insiders or other related parties have an interest in shares in a public company through a separate private company.
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. Case in point: We've spotted 7 warning signs for Gritstone Oncology you should be aware of, and 2 of them are a bit concerning.
But ultimately it is the future, not the past, that will determine how well the owners of this business will do. Therefore we think it advisable to take a look at this free report showing whether analysts are predicting a brighter 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.
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