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Hedge funds own 28% of Molecular Partners AG (VTX:MOLN) shares but individual investors control 41% of the company

A look at the shareholders of Molecular Partners AG (VTX:MOLN) can tell us which group is most powerful. With 41% stake, individual investors possess the maximum shares in the company. Put another way, the group faces the maximum upside potential (or downside risk).

Meanwhile, hedge funds make up 28% of the company’s shareholders.

In the chart below, we zoom in on the different ownership groups of Molecular Partners.

View our latest analysis for Molecular Partners

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Molecular Partners?

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 have a fair amount of stake in Molecular Partners. 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 Molecular Partners' historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

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

Our data indicates that hedge funds own 28% of Molecular Partners. That catches my attention because hedge funds sometimes try to influence management, or bring about changes that will create near term value for shareholders. BVF Partners L.P. is currently the largest shareholder, with 15% of shares outstanding. Meanwhile, the second and third largest shareholders, hold 6.6% and 6.3%, of the shares outstanding, respectively. Additionally, the company's CEO Patrick Amstutz directly holds 2.2% of the total shares outstanding.

We did some more digging and found that 9 of the top shareholders account for roughly 50% of the register, implying that along with larger shareholders, there are a few smaller shareholders, thereby balancing out each others interests somewhat.

While studying institutional ownership for a company can add value to your research, it is also a good practice to research analyst recommendations to get a deeper understand of a stock's expected performance. 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 Molecular Partners

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. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

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.

It seems insiders own a significant proportion of Molecular Partners AG. It has a market capitalization of just CHF197m, and insiders have CHF23m worth of shares in their own names. It is great to see insiders so invested in the business. It might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying recently.

General Public Ownership

The general public-- including retail investors -- own 41% stake in the company, and hence can't 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.

Public Company Ownership

It appears to us that public companies own 5.3% of Molecular Partners. We can't be certain but it is quite possible this is a strategic stake. The businesses may be similar, or work together.

Next Steps:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Molecular Partners better, we need to consider many other factors. Like risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for Molecular Partners (of which 1 can't be ignored!) you should know about.

But ultimately it is the future, not the past, that will determine how well the owners of this business will do. Therefore we think it advisable to take a look at this free report showing whether analysts are predicting a brighter 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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