Stock Analysis

AC Immune SA's (NASDAQ:ACIU) last week's 11% decline must have disappointed private equity firms who have a significant stake

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NasdaqGM:ACIU
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Every investor in AC Immune SA (NASDAQ:ACIU) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. We can see that private equity firms own the lion's share in the company with 39% ownership. That is, the group stands to benefit the most if the stock rises (or lose the most if there is a downturn).

And last week, private equity firms endured the biggest losses as the stock fell by 11%.

Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about AC Immune.

View our latest analysis for AC Immune

ownership-breakdown
NasdaqGM:ACIU Ownership Breakdown August 31st 2022

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About AC Immune?

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.

AC Immune 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. If multiple institutions change their view on a stock at the same time, you could see the share price drop fast. It's therefore worth looking at AC Immune's earnings history below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
NasdaqGM:ACIU Earnings and Revenue Growth August 31st 2022

It would appear that 9.6% of AC Immune shares are controlled by hedge funds. That's interesting, because hedge funds can be quite active and activist. Many look for medium term catalysts that will drive the share price higher. dievini Hopp BioTech holding GmbH & Co. KG is currently the largest shareholder, with 23% of shares outstanding. Meanwhile, the second and third largest shareholders, hold 16% and 9.6%, of the shares outstanding, respectively. In addition, we found that Andrea Pfeifer, the CEO has 3.0% of the shares allocated to their name.

Our research also brought to light the fact that roughly 58% of the company is controlled by the top 4 shareholders suggesting that these owners wield significant influence on the business.

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 plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of AC Immune

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

Most consider insider ownership a positive because it can indicate the board is well aligned with other shareholders. However, on some occasions too much power is concentrated within this group.

Our most recent data indicates that insiders own some shares in AC Immune SA. It has a market capitalization of just US$239m, and insiders have US$8.5m worth of shares, in their own names. It is good to see some investment by insiders, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.

General Public Ownership

With a 29% ownership, the general public, mostly comprising of individual investors, have some degree of sway over AC Immune. 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.

Private Equity Ownership

Private equity firms hold a 39% stake in AC Immune. This suggests they can be influential in key policy decisions. Some might like this, because private equity are sometimes activists who hold management accountable. But other times, private equity is selling out, having taking the company public.

Private Company Ownership

It seems that Private Companies own 9.2%, of the AC Immune stock. 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.

Next Steps:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand AC Immune better, we need to consider many other factors. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 3 warning signs with AC Immune (at least 1 which shouldn't be ignored) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

But ultimately it is the future, not the past, that will determine how well the owners of this business will do. Therefore we think it advisable to take a look at this free report showing whether analysts are predicting a brighter 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.

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About NasdaqGM:ACIU

AC Immune

AC Immune SA, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, discovers, designs, and develops medicines and diagnostic products for the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases associated with protein misfolding.

The Snowflake is a visual investment summary with the score of each axis being calculated by 6 checks in 5 areas.

Analysis AreaScore (0-6)
Valuation3
Future Growth2
Past Performance0
Financial Health5
Dividends0

Read more about these checks in the individual report sections or in our analysis model.

Excellent balance sheet and fair value.