Every investor in Equillium, Inc. (NASDAQ:EQ) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it’s not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of 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.’
Equillium is not a large company by global standards. It has a market capitalization of US$140m, which means it wouldn’t have the attention of many institutional investors. In the chart below below, we can see that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about EQ.
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What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Equillium?
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.
Equillium already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 6.7% 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 Equillium’s historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.
It looks like hedge funds own 6.9% of Equillium shares. That catches my attention because hedge funds sometimes try to influence management, or bring about changes that will create near term value for shareholders. There is some analyst coverage of the stock, but it could still become more well known, with time.
Insider Ownership Of Equillium
While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. 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.
Insider ownership is positive when it signals leadership are thinking like the true owners of the company. However, high insider ownership can also give immense power to a small group within the company. This can be negative in some circumstances.
Our most recent data indicates that insiders own a reasonable proportion of Equillium, Inc.. Insiders have a US$48m stake in this US$140m business. It is great to see insiders so invested in the business. It might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying recently.
General Public Ownership
The general public holds a 21% stake in EQ. While this group can’t necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.
Private Company Ownership
Our data indicates that Private Companies hold 17%, of the company’s shares. Private companies may be related parties. Sometimes insiders have an interest in a public company through a holding in a private company, rather than in their own capacity as an individual. While it’s hard to draw any broad stroke conclusions, it is worth noting as an area for further research.
Public Company Ownership
It appears to us that public companies own 13% of EQ. It’s hard to say for sure, but this suggests they have entwined business interests. This might be a strategic stake, so it’s worth watching this space for changes in ownership.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important.
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.
If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.