Who Really Owns Atossa Genetics Inc (NASDAQ:ATOS)?

In this article, I will take a quick look at Atossa Genetics Inc’s (NASDAQ:ATOS) recent ownership structure – an unconventional investing subject, but an important one. Ownership structure has been found to have an impact on shareholder returns in both short- and long-term. The same amount of capital coming from an activist institution and a passive mutual fund has different implications on corporate governance, which is a decisive factor for a long-term investor. It also impacts the trading environment of company shares, which is more of a concern for short-term investors. Therefore, it is beneficial for us to examine ATOS’s ownership structure in more detail.

View our latest analysis for Atossa Genetics
NasdaqCM:ATOS Ownership_summary Feb 14th 18
NasdaqCM:ATOS Ownership_summary Feb 14th 18

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 a not-so-big institutional ownership of 3.34%, ATOS is not too exposed to price volatility that may arise from institutional trading. But another factor to consider is the presence of hedge funds, who are notorious for active investing. In ATOS’s case, they make up 7.23% of ownership, indicating potential sharp stock price movements during significant transactions. However, I would also examine the rest of its ownership structure in more detail to determine how the company’s major shareholders can affect its investment case.

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. ATOS insiders hold a minor stake in the company, which somewhat aligns their interests with that of shareholders. However, a higher level of insider ownership has been linked to management executing on high-returning projects instead of expansion projects for the sake of apparent growth. I will also like to check what insiders have been doing recently with their holdings. Insider buying may be a sign of upbeat future expectations, however, selling doesn’t necessarily mean the opposite as insiders may be motivated by their personal financial needs.
NasdaqCM:ATOS Insider_trading Feb 14th 18
NasdaqCM:ATOS Insider_trading Feb 14th 18

General Public Ownership

A substantial ownership of 88.37% in ATOS is held by the general public. This size of ownership gives retail investors collective power in deciding on major policy decisions such as executive compensation, appointment of directors and acquisitions of businesses. This level of ownership gives retail investors the power to sway key policy decisions such as board composition, executive compensation, and potential acquisitions. This is a positive sign for an investor who wants to be involved in key decision-making of the company.

Private Company Ownership

Potential investors in ATOS should also look at another important group of investors: private companies, with a stake of 0.91%, who are primarily invested because of strategic and capital gain interests. However, an ownership of this size may be relatively insignificant, meaning that these shareholders may not have the potential to influence ATOS’s business strategy. Thus, investors not need worry too much about the consequences of these holdings.

Next Steps:

While institutional ownership in ATOS is low, active hedge funds still have a significant stake in the company. The participation of these active investors has been linked to the volatile nature of share prices. It is important that ATOS offers enough margin of safety in order to avoid a significant portfolio impact resulting from a sustained sell-off and drop in share value. However, ownership structure should not be the only focus of your research when constructing an investment thesis around ATOS. Rather, you should be examining fundamental factors such as Atossa Genetics’s past track record and financial health. 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.