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A look at the shareholders of Spruce Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPRB) can tell us which group is most powerful. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it's not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of smaller companies. We also tend to see lower insider ownership in companies that were previously publicly owned.
With a market capitalization of US$486m, Spruce Biosciences is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. In the chart below, we can see that institutions own shares in the company. Let's delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about Spruce Biosciences.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Spruce Biosciences?
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.
Spruce Biosciences already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. 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. 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 Spruce Biosciences' historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.
It looks like hedge funds own 15% of Spruce Biosciences shares. That catches my attention because hedge funds sometimes try to influence management, or bring about changes that will create near term value for shareholders. The company's largest shareholder is Novo Holdings A/S, with ownership of 21%. The second and third largest shareholders are Omega Fund Management, LLC and RiverVest Venture Partners, LLC, with an equal amount of shares to their name at 9.3%.
On looking further, we found that 57% of the shares are owned by the top 5 shareholders. In other words, these shareholders have a meaningful say in the decisions of the company.
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. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.
Insider Ownership Of Spruce Biosciences
The definition of company insiders can be subjective and does vary between jurisdictions. Our data reflects individual insiders, capturing board members at the very least. 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.
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.
I can report that insiders do own shares in Spruce Biosciences, Inc.. As individuals, the insiders collectively own US$12m worth of the US$486m 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, with a 17% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. 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 an ownership of 57%, private equity firms are in a position to play a role in shaping corporate strategy with a focus on value creation. Some investors might be encouraged by this, since private equity are sometimes able to encourage strategies that help the market see the value in the company. Alternatively, those holders might be exiting the investment after taking it public.
It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Spruce Biosciences better, we need to consider many other factors. Take risks for example - Spruce Biosciences has 3 warning signs (and 1 which is significant) we think 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.
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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