Why Altimmune Inc’s (NASDAQ:ALT) Investor Composition Impacts Your Returns

In this analysis, my focus will be on developing a perspective on Altimmune Inc’s (NASDAQ:ALT) latest ownership structure, a less discussed, but important factor. A company’s ownership structure is often linked to its share performance in both the long- and short-term. Differences in ownership structure of companies can have a profound effect on how management’s incentives are aligned with shareholder returns, and whether they adhere to corporate governance best practices. Although this is an important factor for long-term investors, many investors can also be impacted by institutional presence and their high-volume trading. Now I will analyze ALT’s shareholder registry in more detail.

View our latest analysis for Altimmune
NasdaqGM:ALT Ownership_summary May 17th 18
NasdaqGM:ALT Ownership_summary May 17th 18

Institutional Ownership

Institutions account for 12.21% of ALT’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 ALT 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. In the case of ALT, investors need not worry about such volatility considering active hedge funds don’t have a significant stake. However, we should dig deeper into ALT’s ownership structure and find out how other key ownership classes can affect its investment profile.

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. 6.32% ownership makes insiders an important shareholder group. This level of ownership indicates closely aligned interests of shareholders and management. 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.
NasdaqGM:ALT Insider_trading May 17th 18
NasdaqGM:ALT Insider_trading May 17th 18

General Public Ownership

The general public holds a substantial 43.46% stake in ALT, making it a highly popular stock among retail investors. With this size of ownership, retail investors can collectively play a role in major company policies that affect shareholders returns, including executive remuneration and the appointment of directors. They can also exercise the power to decline an acquisition or merger that may not improve profitability.

Private Equity Ownership

Private equity firms hold a 38.02% stake in ALT. With a stake of this size, they can be influential in key policy decisions. 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.

Next Steps:

ALT’s considerably high level of institutional ownership calls for further analysis into its margin of safety. 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 focus of your research when constructing an investment thesis around ALT. Instead, you should be evaluating company-specific factors such as Altimmune’s past track record and financial health. I urge you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Financial Health: Is ALT’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. 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.