What Kind Of Shareholders Own Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:MACK)?

The big shareholder groups in Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:MACK) have power over the company. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it’s not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of smaller companies. We also tend to see lower insider ownership in companies that were previously publicly owned.

With a market capitalization of US$84m, Merrimack Pharmaceuticals is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it’s seems that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about MACK.

See our latest analysis for Merrimack Pharmaceuticals

NasdaqGM:MACK Ownership Summary, September 3rd 2019
NasdaqGM:MACK Ownership Summary, September 3rd 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Merrimack Pharmaceuticals?

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.

As you can see, institutional investors own 30% of Merrimack Pharmaceuticals. 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 Merrimack Pharmaceuticals’s historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.

NasdaqGM:MACK Income Statement, September 3rd 2019
NasdaqGM:MACK Income Statement, September 3rd 2019

It would appear that 28% of Merrimack Pharmaceuticals 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. We’re not picking up on any analyst coverage of the stock at the moment, so the company is unlikely to be widely held.

Insider Ownership Of Merrimack Pharmaceuticals

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.

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.

I can report that insiders do own shares in Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc.. In their own names, insiders own US$3.4m worth of stock in the US$84m company. It is good to see some investment by insiders, but I usually like to see higher insider holdings. It might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.

General Public Ownership

The general public holds a 38% stake in MACK. 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.

Many find it useful to take an in depth look at how a company has performed in the past. You can access this detailed graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

Of course this may not be the best stock to buy. Therefore, you may wish to see our free collection of interesting prospects boasting favorable financials.

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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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. Thank you for reading.