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Why AcelRx Pharmaceuticals Inc’s (ACRX) Ownership Structure Is Important

David Rizzo

Today, I will be analyzing AcelRx Pharmaceuticals Inc’s (NASDAQ:ACRX) recent ownership structure, an important but not-so-popular subject among individual investors. A company’s ownership structure is often linked to its share performance in both the long- and short-term. Since the effect of an active institutional investor with a similar ownership as a passive pension-fund can be vastly different on a company’s corporate governance and accountability of shareholders, investors should take a closer look at XYZ’s shareholder registry. All data provided is as of the most recent financial year end.

See our latest analysis for ACRX

NasdaqGM:ACRX Ownership Summary Oct 31st 17

Institutional Ownership

Institutions account for 18.92% of ACRX’s outstanding shares, a significant enough holding to move stock prices if they start buying and selling in large quantities, especially when there are relatively small amounts of shares available on the market to trade. These moves, at least in the short-term, are generally observed in an institutional ownership mix comprising of active stock pickers, in particular levered hedge funds, which can cause large price swings. For ACRX shareholders, the potential of this type of share price volatility shouldn’t be as concerning as hedge fund ownership is is not significant,indicating few chances of such sudden price moves. While that hardly seems concerning, I will explore further into ACRX’s ownership type to find out how it can affect the company’s investment profile.

Insider Ownership

Another important group of shareholders are company insiders. Insider ownership has to do more with how the company is managed and less to do with the direct impact of the magnitude of shares trading on the market. With a stake of 1.83%, insiders seem to have some alignment of interest with shareholders. A higher level of insider ownership has been found to reflect the choosing of projects with higher return on investments compared to lower returning projects for the sake of expansion. It would also be interesting to check what insiders have been doing with their shareholding recently. Insider buying can be a positive indicator of future performance, but a selling decision can be simply driven by personal financial requirements.

NasdaqGM:ACRX Insider Trading Oct 31st 17

General Public Ownership

A big stake of 58.61% in ACRX is held by the general public. With this size of ownership, retail investors can collectively play a role in major company policies that affect shareholders returns, including executive remuneration and the appointment of directors. They can also exercise the power to decline an acquisition or merger that may not improve profitability.

Private Equity Ownership

With a stake of 20.64%, private equity firms form another important class of owners in ACRX. With a stake of 20.64%, they can influence ACRX’s key policy decisions. An investor should be encouraged by the ownership of these institutions who are known to be experts in increasing efficiency, improving capital structure and opting for value-accretive policy decisions.

What this means for you:

Are you a shareholder? The company’s high institutional ownership makes margin of safety a very important consideration to existing investors since long bull and bear trends often emerge when these big-ticket investors see a change in long-term potential of the company. This will allow investors to reduce the impact of non-fundamental factors, such as volatile block trading impact on their portfolio value. If you’re looking to diversify your holdings with high-quality stocks, our free analysis platform has a selection of high-quality stocks with a strong growth potential.

Are you a potential investor? Ownership structure should not be the only focus of your research when constructing an investment thesis around ACRX. Rather, you should be looking at fundamental drivers like the future growth expectations around ACRX, which is a key factor that will influence ACRX’s share value. Take a look at our most recent infographic report on ACRX for a more in-depth analysis of these factors to help you make a more well-informed investment decision.

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 pass 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.