Do Institutions Own Geron Corporation (NASDAQ:GERN) Shares?

If you want to know who really controls Geron Corporation (NASDAQ:GERN), then you’ll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it’s not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of smaller companies. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.

With a market capitalization of US$220m, Geron is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let’s take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about Geron.

See our latest analysis for Geron

NasdaqGS:GERN Ownership Summary, March 22nd 2020
NasdaqGS:GERN Ownership Summary, March 22nd 2020

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Geron?

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.

We can see that Geron does have institutional investors; and they hold 33% of the stock. 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. If multiple institutions change their view on a stock at the same time, you could see the share price drop fast. It’s therefore worth looking at Geron’s earnings history, below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

NasdaqGS:GERN Income Statement, March 22nd 2020
NasdaqGS:GERN Income Statement, March 22nd 2020

Hedge funds don’t have many shares in Geron. BlackRock, Inc. is currently the largest shareholder, with 7.8% of shares outstanding. FMR LLC is the second largest shareholder with 7.8% of common stock, followed by The Vanguard Group, Inc., holding 5.0% of the stock.

A deeper look at our ownership data shows that the top 25 shareholders collectively hold less than 50% of the register, suggesting a large group of small holders where no one share holder has a majority.

Researching institutional ownership is a good way to gauge and filter a stock’s expected performance. The same can be achieved by studying analyst sentiments. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of Geron

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. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

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 information suggests that Geron Corporation insiders own under 1% of the company. It seems the board members have no more than US$762k worth of shares in the US$220m company. Many tend to prefer to see a board with bigger shareholdings. A good next step might be to take a look at this free summary of insider buying and selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public — mostly retail investors — own 67% of Geron. This size of ownership gives retail investors collective power. They can and probably do influence decisions on executive compensation, dividend policies and proposed business acquisitions.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Case in point: We’ve spotted 4 warning signs for Geron you should be aware of, and 1 of them makes us a bit uncomfortable.

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.

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.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.