Are Institutions Heavily Invested In Kezar Life Sciences, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:KZR) Shares?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
November 10, 2021
NasdaqGS:KZR
Source: Shutterstock

A look at the shareholders of Kezar Life Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:KZR) 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.

Kezar Life Sciences is not a large company by global standards. It has a market capitalization of US$366m, which means it wouldn't have the attention of many institutional investors. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Kezar Life Sciences.

See our latest analysis for Kezar Life Sciences

ownership-breakdown
NasdaqGS:KZR Ownership Breakdown November 11th 2021

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Kezar Life Sciences?

Institutional investors commonly compare their own returns to the returns of a commonly followed index. So they generally do consider buying larger companies that are included in the relevant benchmark index.

Kezar Life Sciences already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in 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. 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 Kezar Life Sciences, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
NasdaqGS:KZR Earnings and Revenue Growth November 11th 2021

Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. It looks like hedge funds own 5.1% of Kezar Life Sciences shares. That's interesting, because hedge funds can be quite active and activist. Many look for medium term catalysts that will drive the share price higher. Our data shows that Equal Talent Investments Ltd is the largest shareholder with 13% of shares outstanding. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 13% and 9.4% of the stock. Additionally, the company's CEO John Fowler directly holds 0.8% of the total shares outstanding.

We also observed that the top 6 shareholders account for more than half of the share register, with a few smaller shareholders to balance the interests of the larger ones to a certain extent.

While studying institutional ownership for a company can add value to your research, it is also a good practice to research analyst recommendations to get a deeper understand of a stock's expected performance. 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 Kezar Life Sciences

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.

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 Kezar Life Sciences, Inc.. It has a market capitalization of just US$366m, and insiders have US$14m worth of shares, in their own names. It is good to see some investment by insiders, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.

General Public Ownership

The general public holds a 12% stake in Kezar Life Sciences. 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 25% stake in Kezar Life Sciences. 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:

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. Be aware that Kezar Life Sciences is showing 5 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 2 of those are concerning...

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.

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