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Every investor in Spero Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPRO) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. Companies that used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.
Spero Therapeutics is a smaller company with a market capitalization of US$544m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. In the chart below, we can see that institutional investors have bought into the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Spero Therapeutics.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Spero Therapeutics?
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.
Spero Therapeutics already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in 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. 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 Spero Therapeutics' historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.
It would appear that 21% of Spero Therapeutics shares are controlled by hedge funds. That catches my attention because hedge funds sometimes try to influence management, or bring about changes that will create near term value for shareholders. Aquilo Capital Management, LLC is currently the company's largest shareholder with 15% of shares outstanding. Meanwhile, the second and third largest shareholders, hold 7.3% and 6.7%, of the shares outstanding, respectively.
On further inspection, we found that more than half the company's shares are owned by the top 8 shareholders, suggesting that the interests of the larger shareholders are balanced out to an extent by the smaller ones.
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. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.
Insider Ownership Of Spero Therapeutics
While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. 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.
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 Spero Therapeutics, Inc. insiders own under 1% of the company. It appears that the board holds about US$1.5m worth of stock. This compares to a market capitalization of US$544m. I generally like to see a board more invested. However it might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.
General Public Ownership
The general public, with a 24% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. This size of ownership, while considerable, may not be enough to change company policy if the decision is not in sync with other large shareholders.
Private Equity Ownership
With an ownership of 5.4%, 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.
Public Company Ownership
It appears to us that public companies own 7.3% of Spero Therapeutics. This may be a strategic interest and the two companies may have related business interests. It could be that they have de-merged. This holding is probably worth investigating further.
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. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for Spero Therapeutics you should know about.
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.
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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