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Could The COMPASS Pathways plc (NASDAQ:CMPS) Ownership Structure Tell Us Something Useful?

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·4 min read
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The big shareholder groups in COMPASS Pathways plc (NASDAQ:CMPS) have power over the company. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. Warren Buffett said that he likes "a business with enduring competitive advantages that is run by able and owner-oriented people." So it's nice to see some insider ownership, because it may suggest that management is owner-oriented.

COMPASS Pathways is a smaller company with a market capitalization of US$355m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it seems that institutions own shares in the company. Let's delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about COMPASS Pathways.

See our latest analysis for COMPASS Pathways

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About COMPASS Pathways?

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.

We can see that COMPASS Pathways does have institutional investors; and they hold a good portion of the company's stock. 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. It is not uncommon to see a big share price drop if two large institutional investors try to sell out of a stock at the same time. So it is worth checking the past earnings trajectory of COMPASS Pathways, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

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

Hedge funds don't have many shares in COMPASS Pathways. Our data shows that Atai Life Sciences N.V. is the largest shareholder with 23% of shares outstanding. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 20% and 10% of the stock. Note that the second and third-largest shareholders are also Top Key Executive and Chairman of the Board, respectively, meaning that the company's top shareholders are insiders.

To make our study more interesting, we found that the top 3 shareholders have a majority ownership in the company, meaning that they are powerful enough to influence the decisions of 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 plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of COMPASS Pathways

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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 most recent data indicates that insiders own a reasonable proportion of COMPASS Pathways plc. Insiders own US$118m worth of shares in the US$355m company. 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

With a 22% ownership, the general public, mostly comprising of individual investors, have some degree of sway over COMPASS Pathways. 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.

Private Company Ownership

We can see that Private Companies own 3.8%, of the shares on issue. Private companies may be related parties. Sometimes insiders have an interest in a public company through a holding in a private company, rather than in their own capacity as an individual. While it's hard to draw any broad stroke conclusions, it is worth noting as an area for further research.

Public Company Ownership

We can see that public companies hold 23% of the COMPASS Pathways shares on issue. 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:

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. Take risks for example - COMPASS Pathways has 4 warning signs (and 1 which is potentially serious) we think 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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