What Kind Of Shareholder Appears On The Biogen Inc.’s (NASDAQ:BIIB) Shareholder Register?

A look at the shareholders of Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ:BIIB) can tell us which group is most powerful. Institutions will often hold stock in bigger companies, and we expect to see insiders owning a noticeable percentage of the smaller ones. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.

Biogen is a pretty big company. It has a market capitalization of US$55b. Normally institutions would own a significant portion of a company this size. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions own shares in the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Biogen.

View our latest analysis for Biogen

NasdaqGS:BIIB Ownership Summary, March 4th 2020
NasdaqGS:BIIB Ownership Summary, March 4th 2020

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Biogen?

Many institutions measure their performance against an index that approximates the local market. So they usually pay more attention to companies that are included in major indices.

As you can see, institutional investors own 89% of Biogen. 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. It is not uncommon to see a big share price drop if two large institutional investors try to sell out of a stock at the same time. So it is worth checking the past earnings trajectory of Biogen, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

NasdaqGS:BIIB Income Statement, March 4th 2020
NasdaqGS:BIIB Income Statement, March 4th 2020

Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. Hedge funds don’t have many shares in Biogen. Looking at our data, we can see that the largest shareholder is BlackRock, Inc. with 9.0% of shares outstanding. With 8.7% and 8.0% of the shares outstanding respectively, PRIMECAP Management Company and The Vanguard Group, Inc. are the second and third largest shareholders.

Further, we can found that 50% of the ownership is controlled by the top 16 shareholders, meaning that no one shareholder has a majority interest in the ownership.

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 a reasonable number of analysts covering the stock, so it might be useful to find out their aggregate view on the future.

Insider Ownership Of Biogen

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. Management ultimately answers to the board. However, it is not uncommon for managers to be executive board members, especially if they are a founder or the CEO.

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 less than 1% of Biogen Inc.. As it is a large company, we’d only expect insiders to own a small percentage of it. But it’s worth noting that they own US$80m worth of shares. It is always good to see at least some insider ownership, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 11% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. While this size of ownership may not be enough to sway a policy decision in their favour, they can still make a collective impact on company policies.

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. For example, we’ve discovered 2 warning signs for Biogen (1 is a bit unpleasant!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

If you would prefer discover what analysts are predicting in terms of future growth, do not miss this free report on analyst forecasts.

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.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

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