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Esperion Therapeutics, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:ESPR) latest 9.4% decline adds to one-year losses, institutional investors may consider drastic measures

To get a sense of who is truly in control of Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:ESPR), it is important to understand the ownership structure of the business. With 81% stake, institutions possess the maximum shares in the company. In other words, the group stands to gain the most (or lose the most) from their investment into the company.

And so it follows that institutional investors was the group most impacted after the company's market cap fell to US$531m last week after a 9.4% drop in the share price. Needless to say, the recent loss which further adds to the one-year loss to shareholders of 2.7% might not go down well especially with this category of shareholders. Also referred to as "smart money", institutions have a lot of sway over how a stock's price moves. As a result, if the downtrend continues, institutions may face pressures to sell Esperion Therapeutics, which might have negative implications on individual investors.

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

View our latest analysis for Esperion Therapeutics

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Esperion Therapeutics?

Many institutions measure their performance against an index that approximates the local market. So they usually pay more attention to companies that are included in major indices.

Esperion Therapeutics 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. 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 Esperion Therapeutics' earnings history below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

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

Institutional investors own over 50% of the company, so together than can probably strongly influence board decisions. Esperion Therapeutics is not owned by hedge funds. Our data shows that Wasatch Advisors Inc is the largest shareholder with 10% of shares outstanding. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 7.6% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 6.2% by the third-largest shareholder.

We also observed that the top 9 shareholders account for more than half of the share register, with a few smaller shareholders to balance the interests of the larger ones to a certain extent.

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 Esperion Therapeutics

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. 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 data suggests that insiders own under 1% of Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. in their own names. It appears that the board holds about US$4.6m worth of stock. This compares to a market capitalization of US$531m. Many tend to prefer to see a board with bigger shareholdings. A good next step might be to take a look at this free summary of insider buying and selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, who are usually individual investors, hold a 11% stake in Esperion Therapeutics. 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

Private equity firms hold a 7.6% stake in Esperion Therapeutics. This suggests they can be influential in key policy decisions. Sometimes we see private equity stick around for the long term, but generally speaking they have a shorter investment horizon and -- as the name suggests -- don't invest in public companies much. After some time they may look to sell and redeploy capital elsewhere.

Next Steps:

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. Like risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for Esperion Therapeutics (of which 2 can't be ignored!) you should know about.

If you would prefer discover what analysts are predicting in terms of future growth, do not miss this free report on analyst forecasts.

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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