A look at the shareholders of 4D pharma plc (LON:DDDD) can tell us which group is most powerful. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. Warren Buffett said that he likes “a business with enduring competitive advantages that is run by able and owner-oriented people.” So it’s nice to see some insider ownership, because it may suggest that management is owner-oriented.
With a market capitalization of UK£158m, 4D pharma is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it seems that institutional investors have bought into the company. Let’s take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about 4D pharma.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About 4D pharma?
Institutional investors commonly compare their own returns to the returns of a commonly followed index. So they generally do consider buying larger companies that are included in the relevant benchmark index.
4D pharma already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. This suggests some credibility amongst professional investors. But we can’t rely on that fact alone since institutions make bad investments sometimes, just like everyone does. 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 4D pharma, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.
4D pharma is not owned by hedge funds. Steven Oliveira is currently the company’s largest shareholder with 11% of shares outstanding. The second and third largest shareholders are Duncan Peyton and Alexander Stevenson, with an equal amount of shares to their name at 6.4%. Note that the second and third-largest shareholders are also Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors, respectively, meaning that the company’s top shareholders are insiders.
Looking at the shareholder registry, we can see that 50% of the ownership is controlled by the top 12 shareholders, meaning that no single shareholder has a majority interest in the ownership.
While studying institutional ownership for a company can add value to your research, it is also a good practice to research analyst recommendations to get a deeper understand of a stock’s expected performance. There is some analyst coverage of the stock, but it could still become more well known, with time.
Insider Ownership Of 4D pharma
The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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.
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 information suggests that insiders maintain a significant holding in 4D pharma plc. Insiders have a UK£45m stake in this UK£158m business. This may suggest that the founders still own a lot of shares. You can click here to see if they have been buying or selling.
General Public Ownership
The general public, with a 24% 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.
Public Company Ownership
Public companies currently own 6.6% of 4D pharma stock. It’s hard to say for sure but this suggests they have entwined business interests. This might be a strategic stake, so it’s worth watching this space for changes in ownership.
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. Like risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we’ve spotted 3 warning signs for 4D pharma (of which 2 don’t sit too well with us!) 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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