Do Insiders Own Lots Of Shares In Novan, Inc. (NASDAQ:NOVN)?

Every investor in Novan, Inc. (NASDAQ:NOVN) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. I generally like to see some degree of insider ownership, even if only a little. As Nassim Nicholas Taleb said, ‘Don’t tell me what you think, tell me what you have in your portfolio.

Novan is not a large company by global standards. It has a market capitalization of US$14m, which means it wouldn’t have the attention of many institutional investors. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let’s delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about Novan.

Check out our latest analysis for Novan

NasdaqGM:NOVN Ownership Summary, February 3rd 2020
NasdaqGM:NOVN Ownership Summary, February 3rd 2020

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Novan?

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.

We can see that Novan does have institutional investors; and they hold 5.8% of the stock. 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 Novan’s historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.

NasdaqGM:NOVN Income Statement, February 3rd 2020
NasdaqGM:NOVN Income Statement, February 3rd 2020

Novan is not owned by hedge funds. The company’s largest shareholder is Reedy Creek Investments LLC, with ownership of 15%, The second largest shareholder with 9.7%, is Malin Corporation plc, followed by Nathan Stasko, with an ownership of 3.1%.

A deeper look at our ownership data shows that the top 25 shareholders collectively hold less than 50% of the register, suggesting a large group of small holders where no one share holder has a majority.

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. 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 Novan

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.

I generally consider insider ownership to be a good thing. However, on some occasions it makes it more difficult for other shareholders to hold the board accountable for decisions.

Shareholders would probably be interested to learn that insiders own shares in Novan, Inc.. It has a market capitalization of just US$14m, and insiders have US$963k worth of shares, in their own names. It is good to see some investment by insiders, but I usually like to see higher insider holdings. It might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.

General Public Ownership

The general public — mostly retail investors — own 63% of Novan. This level of ownership gives retail investors the power to sway key policy decisions such as board composition, executive compensation, and the dividend payout ratio.

Private Company Ownership

Our data indicates that Private Companies hold 15%, of the company’s shares. It might be worth looking deeper into this. If related parties, such as insiders, have an interest in one of these private companies, that should be disclosed in the annual report. Private companies may also have a strategic interest in the company.

Public Company Ownership

It appears to us that public companies own 9.7% of NOVN. This may be a strategic interest and the two companies may have related business interests. It could be that they have de-merged. This holding is probably worth investigating further.

Next Steps:

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. For instance, we’ve identified 5 warning signs for Novan (1 is potentially serious) that you should be aware of.

Ultimately the future is most important. You can access this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

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.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

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