Who Really Owns Eiger BioPharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:EIGR)?

A look at the shareholders of Eiger BioPharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:EIGR) can tell us which group is most powerful. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. We also tend to see lower insider ownership in companies that were previously publicly owned.

With a market capitalization of US$158m, Eiger BioPharmaceuticals is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. In the chart below below, we can see that institutional investors have bought into the company. Let’s take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about EIGR.

See our latest analysis for Eiger BioPharmaceuticals

NasdaqGM:EIGR Ownership Summary October 11th 18
NasdaqGM:EIGR Ownership Summary October 11th 18

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Eiger BioPharmaceuticals?

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.

Eiger BioPharmaceuticals already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 46% of the company. This can indicate that the company has a certain degree of credibility in the investment community. However, it is best to be wary of relying on the supposed validation that comes with institutional investors. They too, get it wrong sometimes. 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 Eiger BioPharmaceuticals, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

NasdaqGM:EIGR Income Statement Export October 11th 18
NasdaqGM:EIGR Income Statement Export October 11th 18

It would appear that 7.3% of Eiger BioPharmaceuticals shares are controlled by hedge funds. That catches my attention because hedge funds sometimes try to influence management, or bring about changes that will create near term value for shareholders. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of Eiger BioPharmaceuticals

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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.

I can report that insiders do own shares in Eiger BioPharmaceuticals Inc. In their own names, insiders own US$3m worth of stock in the US$158m company. Some would say this shows alignment of interests between shareholders and the board, though I generally prefer to see bigger insider holdings. But it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 20% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. 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 24% stake in EIGR. 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:

It’s always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Eiger BioPharmaceuticals better, we need to consider many other factors.

I always like to check for a history of revenue growth. You can too, by accessing this free chart of historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.

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.

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.