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Why Moleculin Biotech Inc’s (MBRX) Ownership Structure Is Important

Liz Campbell

I am going to take a deep dive into Moleculin Biotech Inc’s (NASDAQ:MBRX) most recent ownership structure, not a frequent subject of discussion among individual investors. The impact of a company’s ownership structure affects both its short- and long-term performance. 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 MBRX’s shareholder registry. All data provided is as of the most recent financial year end.

View our latest analysis for Moleculin Biotech

NasdaqCM:MBRX Ownership_summary Nov 29th 17

Institutional Ownership

Institutional investors typically buy and sell shares in large magnitudes which can significantly sway the share price, especially when there are relatively small amounts of shares available on the market to trade. With an institutional ownership of 4.37%, MBRX doesn’t seem too exposed to higher volatility resulting from institutional trading. Low coverage stocks like MBRX tend to be favourite picks of legendary investor Peter Lynch, who used to cash in on the rally supported by institutional buying as the stock gained popularity.

Insider Ownership

Insiders form another group of important ownership types as they manage the company’s operations and decide the best use of capital. Insider ownership has been linked to better alignment between management and shareholders. 19.97% ownership of MBRX insiders is large enough to make an impact on shareholder returns. In general, this level of insider ownership has negatively affected underperforming (consistently low PE ratio) companies and positively affected the companies that outperform (consistently high PE ratio). It’s also interesting to learn what MBRX insiders have been doing with their shareholdings lately. While insider buying is possibly a sign of a positive outlook for the company, selling doesn’t necessarily indicate a negative outlook as they may be selling to meet personal financial needs.

NasdaqCM:MBRX Insider_trading Nov 29th 17

General Public Ownership

A substantial ownership of 62.97% in MBRX 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 Company Ownership

Potential investors in MBRX should also look at another important group of investors: private companies, with a stake of 12.70%, who are primarily invested because of strategic and capital gain interests. An ownership of this size indicates a strong financial backing and has the potential to influence MBRX’s business strategy. Thus, investors should dig deeper into MBRX’s business relations with these companies and how it can affect shareholder returns in the long-term.

What this means for you:

Institutional ownership level and composition in MBRX is not high nor active enough to significantly impact its investment thesis. However, ownership structure should not be the only focus of your research when constructing an investment thesis around MBRX. Rather, you should be looking at fundamental drivers such as the intrinsic valuation, which is a key driver of Moleculin Biotech’s share price. I highly recommend you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

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.