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Atea Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVIR) is a favorite amongst institutional investors who own 62%

Every investor in Atea Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVIR) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. With 62% stake, institutions possess the maximum shares in the company. Put another way, the group faces the maximum upside potential (or downside risk).

Because institutional owners have a huge pool of resources and liquidity, their investing decisions tend to carry a great deal of weight, especially with individual investors. Hence, having a considerable amount of institutional money invested in a company is often regarded as a desirable trait.

Let's delve deeper into each type of owner of Atea Pharmaceuticals, beginning with the chart below.

View our latest analysis for Atea Pharmaceuticals

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Atea Pharmaceuticals?

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.

We can see that Atea Pharmaceuticals does have institutional investors; and they hold a good portion of the company's stock. This can indicate that the company has a certain degree of credibility in the investment community. However, it is best to be wary of relying on the supposed validation that comes with institutional investors. They too, get it wrong sometimes. 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 Atea Pharmaceuticals' earnings history below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

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 7.4% of Atea Pharmaceuticals shares. That catches my attention because hedge funds sometimes try to influence management, or bring about changes that will create near term value for shareholders. Looking at our data, we can see that the largest shareholder is FMR LLC with 15% of shares outstanding. With 9.5% and 7.4% of the shares outstanding respectively, BlackRock, Inc. and EcoR1 Capital, LLC are the second and third largest shareholders. Furthermore, CEO Jean-Pierre Sommadossi is the owner of 7.1% of the company's shares.

We did some more digging and found that 6 of the top shareholders account for roughly 51% of the register, implying that along with larger shareholders, there are a few smaller shareholders, thereby balancing out each others interests somewhat.

While it makes sense to study institutional ownership data for a company, it also makes sense to study analyst sentiments to know which way the wind is blowing. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of Atea Pharmaceuticals

The definition of company insiders can be subjective and does vary between jurisdictions. Our data reflects individual insiders, capturing board members at the very least. The company management answer to the board and the latter should represent the interests of shareholders. Notably, sometimes top-level managers are on the board themselves.

I generally consider insider ownership to be a good thing. However, on some occasions it makes it more difficult for other shareholders to hold the board accountable for decisions.

We can see that insiders own shares in Atea Pharmaceuticals, Inc.. In their own names, insiders own US$32m worth of stock in the US$351m company. Some would say this shows alignment of interests between shareholders and the board. But it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.

General Public Ownership

With a 22% ownership, the general public, mostly comprising of individual investors, have some degree of sway over Atea Pharmaceuticals. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

Next Steps:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Atea Pharmaceuticals better, we need to consider many other factors. Case in point: We've spotted 2 warning signs for Atea Pharmaceuticals you should be aware of, and 1 of them shouldn't be ignored.

If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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