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Recent uptick might appease Moderna, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA) institutional owners after losing 55% over the past year

Key Insights

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

  • A total of 15 investors have a majority stake in the company with 51% ownership

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

A look at the shareholders of Moderna, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA) can tell us which group is most powerful. The group holding the most number of shares in the company, around 66% to be precise, is institutions. Put another way, the group faces the maximum upside potential (or downside risk).

Last week's US$1.1b market cap gain would probably be appreciated by institutional investors, especially after a year of 55% losses.

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

See our latest analysis for Moderna

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Moderna?

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.

As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in Moderna. 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 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

Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. Moderna is not owned by hedge funds. Baillie Gifford & Co. is currently the company's largest shareholder with 12% of shares outstanding. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 7.3% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 6.5% by the third-largest shareholder. In addition, we found that Stephane Bancel, the CEO has 5.5% of the shares allocated to their name.

After doing some more digging, we found that the top 15 have the combined ownership of 51% in the company, suggesting that no single shareholder has significant control over the company.

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 plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of Moderna

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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.

We can see that insiders own shares in Moderna, Inc.. The insiders have a meaningful stake worth US$3.0b. Most would say this shows a good alignment of interests between shareholders and the board. Still, it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public-- including retail investors -- own 24% stake in the company, and hence can't easily be ignored. While this size of ownership may not be enough to sway a policy decision in their favour, they can still make a collective impact on company policies.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important.

Many find it useful to take an in depth look at how a company has performed in the past. You can access this detailed graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

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.