How Much Of Verastem, Inc. (NASDAQ:VSTM) Do Institutions Own?

Every investor in Verastem, Inc. (NASDAQ:VSTM) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.

Verastem is not a large company by global standards. It has a market capitalization of US$96m, which means it wouldn’t have the attention of many institutional investors. In the chart below below, we can see that institutions own shares in the company. Let’s take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about VSTM.

View our latest analysis for Verastem

NasdaqGM:VSTM Ownership Summary, August 21st 2019
NasdaqGM:VSTM Ownership Summary, August 21st 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Verastem?

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 29% of Verastem. 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 Verastem, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

NasdaqGM:VSTM Income Statement, August 21st 2019
NasdaqGM:VSTM Income Statement, August 21st 2019

Our data indicates that hedge funds own 8.5% of Verastem. 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 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 Verastem

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.

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 Verastem, Inc.. In their own names, insiders own US$3.2m worth of stock in the US$96m 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, mostly retail investors, hold a substantial 54% stake in VSTM, suggesting it is a fairly popular stock. With this size of ownership, retail investors can collectively play a role in decisions that affect shareholder returns, such as dividend policies and the appointment of directors. They can also exercise the power to decline an acquisition or merger that may not improve profitability.

Private Company Ownership

It seems that Private Companies own 5.7%, of the VSTM stock. It might be worth looking deeper into this. If related parties, such as insiders, have an interest in one of these private companies, that should be disclosed in the annual report. Private companies may also have a strategic interest in the company.

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.

I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can find historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.

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.

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.

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.