Do Institutions Own AC Immune SA (NASDAQ:ACIU) Shares?

Every investor in AC Immune SA (NASDAQ:ACIU) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. I quite like to see at least a little bit of insider ownership. As Charlie Munger said ‘Show me the incentive and I will show you the outcome.’

With a market capitalization of US$558m, AC Immune is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. Taking a look at the our data on the ownership groups (below), it’s seems that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about ACIU.

See our latest analysis for AC Immune

NasdaqGM:ACIU Ownership Summary November 2nd 18
NasdaqGM:ACIU Ownership Summary November 2nd 18

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About AC Immune?

Institutions typically measure themselves against a benchmark when reporting to their own investors, so they often become more enthusiastic about a stock once it’s included in a major index. We would expect most companies to have some institutions on the register, especially if they are growing.

AC Immune already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 18% of the company. This implies the analysts working for those institutions have looked at the stock and they like it. But just like anyone else, they could be wrong. 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 AC Immune’s historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.

NasdaqGM:ACIU Income Statement Export November 2nd 18
NasdaqGM:ACIU Income Statement Export November 2nd 18

Hedge funds don’t have many shares in AC Immune. There is a little analyst coverage of the stock, but not much. So there is room for it to gain more coverage.

Insider Ownership Of AC Immune

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. The company management answer to the board; and the latter should represent the interests of shareholders. Notably, sometimes top-level managers are on the board, themselves.

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.

We can see that insiders own shares in AC Immune SA. As individuals, the insiders collectively own US$39m worth of the US$558m company. It is good to see some investment by insiders, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.

General Public Ownership

The general public holds a 32% stake in ACIU. 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 44% stake in ACIU. This suggests they can be influential in key policy decisions. Sometimes we see private equity stick around for the long term, but generally speaking they have a shorter investment horizon and — as the name suggests — don’t invest in public companies much. After some time they may look to sell and redeploy capital elsewhere.

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.

I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can find historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.

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.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.