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With 65% institutional ownership, Moderna, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA) is a favorite amongst the big guns

Key Insights

  • Given the large stake in the stock by institutions, Moderna's stock price might be vulnerable to their trading decisions

  • The top 15 shareholders own 50% of the company

  • Analyst forecasts along with ownership data serve to give a strong idea about prospects for a business

To get a sense of who is truly in control of Moderna, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA), it is important to understand the ownership structure of the business. And the group that holds the biggest piece of the pie are institutions with 65% ownership. Put another way, the group faces the maximum upside potential (or downside risk).

Since institutional have access to huge amounts of capital, their market moves tend to receive a lot of scrutiny by retail or individual investors. Hence, having a considerable amount of institutional money invested in a company is often regarded as a desirable trait.

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

View our latest analysis for Moderna

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Moderna?

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.

Moderna already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. 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. 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 Moderna's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

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

Investors should note that institutions actually own more than half the company, so they can collectively wield significant power. We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in Moderna. Baillie Gifford & Co. is currently the company's largest shareholder with 12% of shares outstanding. With 7.1% and 6.8% of the shares outstanding respectively, The Vanguard Group, Inc. and BlackRock, Inc. are the second and third largest shareholders. Furthermore, CEO Stephane Bancel is the owner of 5.5% of the company's shares.

After doing some more digging, we found that the top 15 have the combined ownership of 50% in the company, suggesting that no single shareholder has significant control over the company.

Researching institutional ownership is a good way to gauge and filter a stock's expected performance. The same can be achieved by studying analyst sentiments. 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 Moderna

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. Management ultimately answers to the board. However, it is not uncommon for managers to be executive board members, especially if they are a founder or the CEO.

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.

Shareholders would probably be interested to learn that insiders own shares in Moderna, Inc.. It is a very large company, and board members collectively own US$5.5b worth of shares (at current prices). we sometimes take an interest in whether they have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, who are usually individual investors, hold a 25% stake in Moderna. 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 Moderna better, we need to consider many other factors. Like risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for Moderna (of which 2 are concerning!) 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.

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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