Why Realm Therapeutics Plc’s (LON:RLM) Ownership Structure Is Important

In this article, I will take a quick look at Realm Therapeutics Plc’s (AIM:RLM) recent ownership structure – an unconventional investing subject, but an important one. A company’s ownership structure is often linked to its share performance in both the long- and short-term. Different types of investors can have varying degrees of influence on a company’s management team. For example, an active institutional investor may be more likely to hold a company accountable for certain actions whereas a passive fund will move in and out of stocks without regards to corporate governance. The implications of these institutions’ actions can either benefit or hinder individual investors, so it is important to understand the ownership composition of your stock investment. Therefore, I will take a look at RLM’s shareholders in more detail.

View our latest analysis for Realm Therapeutics
AIM:RLM Ownership_summary May 16th 18
AIM:RLM Ownership_summary May 16th 18

Institutional Ownership

Institutions account for 31.28% of RLM’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. Although RLM has a high institutional ownership, such stock moves, in the short-term, are more commonly linked to a particular type of active institutional investors – hedge funds. Hedge funds, considered active investors, hold a 13.15% stake in the company, which may be the cause of high short-term volatility in the stock price. We should dig deeper into the company’s ownership structure to find how the rest of its ownership structure can impact its investment case.

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 5.64% ownership, RLM insiders is an important ownership type. An insider stake of this level indicates that executives are highly aligned with the shareholders as both stand to gain when the value of the company rises. It may be interesting to see what insiders have been doing with their shares lately. Insiders buying shares can be a positive indicator of future performance, but a selling decision can be simply driven by personal financial needs.

General Public Ownership

With 6.43% ownership, the general public are also an important ownership class in RLM. This size of ownership, while considerably large for a public company, 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 37.24%, private equity firms are a major stakeholder in RLM and are in a position to play an important role in shaping up corporate strategy with a focus on value creation. 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.

Private Company Ownership

Potential investors in RLM should also look at another important group of investors: private companies, with a stake of 6.25%, who are primarily invested because of strategic and capital gain interests. This kind of ownership, if predominantly strategic, can give these companies a significant power to affect RLM’s business strategy. Thus, potential investors should look into these business relations and check how it can impact long-term shareholder returns.

Next Steps:

I suggest investors seek some degree of margin of safety due to high institutional ownership in RLM, in particular due to the strong presence of active hedge fund investors. This is to avoid getting trapped in a sustained sell-off that is often observed in stocks with this level of institutional participation. However, ownership structure should not be the only determining factor when you’re building an investment thesis for RLM. Instead, you should be evaluating company-specific factors such as Realm Therapeutics’s past track record and financial health. I highly recommend you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Financial Health: Is RLM’s operations financially sustainable? Balance sheets can be hard to analyze, which is why we’ve done it for you. Check out our financial health checks here.
  2. Past Track Record: Has RLM been consistently performing well irrespective of the ups and downs in the market? Go into more detail in the past performance analysis and take a look at the free visual representations of RLM’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.
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.