What Kind Of Shareholder Appears On The Zai Lab Limited’s (NASDAQ:ZLAB) Shareholder Register?

The big shareholder groups in Zai Lab Limited (NASDAQ:ZLAB) have power over the company. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. I generally like to see some degree of insider ownership, even if only a little. As Nassim Nicholas Taleb said, ‘Don’t tell me what you think, tell me what you have in your portfolio.’

Zai Lab has a market capitalization of US$934m, so we would expect some institutional investors to have noticed the stock. In the chart below below, we can see that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let’s delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about ZLAB.

View our latest analysis for Zai Lab

NasdaqGM:ZLAB Ownership Summary October 30th 18
NasdaqGM:ZLAB Ownership Summary October 30th 18

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Zai Lab?

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.

Zai Lab already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 26% of the company. This suggests some credibility amongst professional investors. But we can’t rely on that fact alone, since institutions make bad investments sometimes, just like everyone does. 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 Zai Lab’s earnings history, below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

NasdaqGM:ZLAB Income Statement Export October 30th 18
NasdaqGM:ZLAB Income Statement Export October 30th 18

We note that hedge funds don’t have a meaningful investment in Zai Lab. While there is some analyst coverage, the company is probably not widely covered. So it could gain more attention, down the track.

Insider Ownership Of Zai Lab

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.

Our information suggests that insiders maintain a significant holding in Zai Lab Limited. Insiders own US$126m worth of shares in the US$934m company. I would say this shows alignment with shareholders, but it is worth noting that the company is still quite small; some insiders may have founded the business. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 11% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. While this group can’t necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

Private Equity Ownership

With an ownership of 31%, private equity firms are in a position to play a role in shaping corporate strategy with a focus on value creation. Some might like this, because private equity are sometimes activists who hold management accountable. But other times, private equity is selling out, having taking the company public.

Private Company Ownership

Our data indicates that Private Companies hold 19%, of the company’s shares. 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:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important.

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 .

If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow of shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its future.

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.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.