Should You Be Concerned About Sangamo Therapeutics Inc’s (NASDAQ:SGMO) Shareholders?

In this analysis, my focus will be on developing a perspective on Sangamo Therapeutics Inc’s (NASDAQ:SGMO) latest ownership structure, a less discussed, but important factor. When it comes to ownership structure of a company, the impact has been observed in both the long-and short-term performance of shares. The same amount of capital coming from an activist institution and a passive mutual fund has different implications on corporate governance, which is a decisive factor for a long-term investor. It also impacts the trading environment of company shares, which is more of a concern for short-term investors. Therefore, it is beneficial for us to examine SGMO’s ownership structure in more detail.

View our latest analysis for Sangamo Therapeutics
NasdaqGS:SGMO Ownership_summary Feb 12th 18
NasdaqGS:SGMO Ownership_summary Feb 12th 18

Institutional Ownership

In SGMO’s case, institutional ownership stands at 66.04%, significant enough to cause considerable price moves in the case of large institutional transactions, especially when there is a low level of public shares available on the market to trade. However, as not all institutions are alike, such high volatility events, especially in the short-term, have been more frequently linked to active market participants like hedge funds. For shareholders in SGMO, sharp price movements may not be a major concern as active hedge funds hold a relatively small stake in the company. Although this doesn’t necessarily lead to high short-term volatility, we should dig deeper into SGMO’s ownership structure to find how the remaining owner types can affect its investment profile.

Insider Ownership

Insiders form another group of important ownership types as they manage the company’s operations and decide the best use of capital. Insider ownership has been linked to better alignment between management and shareholders. With a stake of 1.85%, insiders seem to have some alignment of interest with shareholders. A higher level of insider ownership has been found to reflect the choosing of projects with higher return on investments compared to lower returning projects for the sake of expansion. In addition to this, it may be interesting to look at insider buying and selling activities. Keep in mind that buying may be sign of upbeat future expectations, but selling doesn’t necessarily mean the opposite as the insiders might just be doing it out of their personal financial needs.

General Public Ownership

A substantial ownership of 32.11% in SGMO is held by the general public. This size of ownership gives retail investors collective power in deciding on major policy decisions such as executive compensation, appointment of directors and acquisitions of businesses. This level of ownership gives retail investors the power to sway key policy decisions such as board composition, executive compensation, and potential acquisitions. This is a positive sign for an investor who wants to be involved in key decision-making of the company.

Next Steps:

The company’s high institutional ownership makes margin of safety a very important consideration to existing investors since long bull and bear trends often emerge when these big-ticket investors see a change in long-term potential of the company. This will enable shareholders to comfortably invest in the company while avoid getting trapped in a sustained sell-off that is often observed in stocks with this level of institutional participation. However, if you are building an investment case for SGMO, ownership structure alone should not dictate your decision to buy or sell the stock. Rather, you should be looking at fundamental drivers such as the intrinsic valuation, which is a key driver of Sangamo Therapeutics’s share price. I urge you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

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.