Top Moderna Shareholders

Reviewed by Somer Anderson

Moderna Inc. (MRNA) is a pharmaceutical and biotechnology company that develops medicines based on messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA), which transfers genetic information to the cellular machinery that makes proteins to sustain life. The company develops medicines for infectious diseases, immuno-oncology, cardiovascular diseases, and other diseases.

Its revenue and market value skyrocketed during the coronavirus pandemic after it won approval for a vaccine it developed to protect against the illness. After climbing to an all-time high price in September 2021, Moderna stock retreated somewhat. As of April 14, 2024, Moderna had a market capitalization of $40.256 billion.

For the fiscal year that ended on Dec. 31, 2023, Moderna reported a net loss of $4.7 billion compared to a net income of $8.4 billion in the previous year. The company said it expects revenue of about $4 billion in 2024.

Key Takeaways

  • The Vanguard Group is one of Moderna’s top shareholders, holding shares of the company in some of its top mutual funds including the Vanguard 500 Stock Index.
  • BlackRock Inc. also is a top three owner of Moderna stock.
  • The company’s CEO and other executives are top insider shareholders.


“Insider” refers to people in senior management positions and members of the board of directors, as well as people or entities that own more than 10% of the company’s stock. In this context, it has nothing to do with insider trading.

Top 3 Individual Insider Shareholders

Insiders hold a total of 9.63% of Moderna’s outstanding stock shares as of the end of 2023.

The shares owned by individual insider shareholders are those that are held through direct ownership. Shares mentioned in this section do not include shares held indirectly nor shares accessible through stock options. Company insiders must file an SEC Form 4 every time they buy or sell an amount of the company’s stock that is deemed to be material.

Stéphane Bancel

Stéphane Bancel, chief executive officer of Moderna, owned 21,075,500 shares of Moderna stock as of April 10, 2024.

Bancel serves as chief executive officer (CEO) and as a member of the board of directors. Since joining Moderna in 2011, he has led the company’s expansion, partly by raising close to $2 billion through equity financing and licensing collaborations. Before Moderna, Bancel was CEO of bioMérieux SA, a French-based biotechnology company. He also held a number of roles at drugmaker Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY).

Noubar Afeyan

Noubar B. Afeyan, a co-founder of Moderna and chair of its board of directors, owned 11,738,000 shares of the company’s stock as of April 10,,2024.

Afeyan is one of the company’s co-founders and is chair of the board. He is also the founder and CEO of Flagship Pioneering Inc., a venture capital firm that invests in the pharmaceutical, electronic, and medical devices sectors. He has co-founded and helped to build more than 40 life science and technology startups and serves on the boards of several Flagship companies as well as Moderna.

Stephen Hoge

Stephen Hoge, president of Moderna and head of its research and development division, owned 1,642,290 shares of Moderna stock as of April 15, 2024.

Hoge started out as a physician in New York City. He joined Moderna in 2012 from McKinsey & Co., where he was a partner in the company’s healthcare division.

Top 3 Institutional Shareholders

As of the end of 2023, 73.16% of Moderna shares were held by institutional investors.

Institutional investment managers with at least $100 million in assets under management (AUM) — must file an SEC Form 13F every quarter to disclose their equity holdings. Individual investors may be considered institutional investors if they acquire 5% or more of a company’s shares, thus requiring them to file either a Schedule 13D or Schedule 13G form.

Baillie Gifford & Co.

Baillie Gifford owns 45.65 million shares of Moderna, representing 11.2% of total shares outstanding,

Baillie Gifford is a global investment management firm based in Edinburgh, Scotland. The company provides portfolio management, consulting, financial planning, and investment supervisory services. Baillie Gifford has $278 billion in assets under management and manages a range of mutual funds.

Vanguard Group Inc.

Vanguard owned 33.91 million shares of Moderna as of the end of 2023. That represents 8.86% of its outstanding shares.

Vanguard is among the largest U.S. investment companies, with about $7.2 trillion in assets under management. Founded in 1975, it has an unusual business plan that involves ownership of the company by its investors.

The Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund, the Vanguard International Growth Fund, and the Vanguard 500 Index Fund are the top three mutual fund holders of Moderna stock.

BlackRock Inc.

BlackRock owned 25.3 million shares of Moderna at the end of 2023, representing about 6.61% of its outstanding shares.

U.S.-based BlackRock is a global investment company with clients in 100 countries and more than $9 trillion in assets under management. Its many iShares exchange-traded funds include the iShares Core S&P 500 ETF.

Is Moderna Developing Additional Covid Treatments?

Moderna had a 48% share of the U.S. market for the Covid vaccine in 2023. It is working on increasing its vaccine coverage internationally in 2024. It has a next-generation Covid vaccine in the clinical trial stages. It also expects regulatory approval of an RSV vaccine in the first half of 2024. (RSV is a respiratory ailment that can cause severe illness in children and the elderly.)

How Much Does Moderna Spend on R&D?

Like all biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms, Moderna spends a lot of money on research and development. It spent $1.4 billion on R&D in the fourth quarter of 2023, up 16% from a year before.

What Does Moderna Develop Besides Covid Vaccines?

The Covid vaccines are among a number of vaccines against respiratory ailments that Moderna develops. These include seasonal flu vaccines. In addition, Moderna invests heavily in the development of oncology therapeutics. It announced in March 2024 that it is working on a cancer vaccine in collaboration with Merck.

The Bottom Line

If you invest in an S&P 500 Index mutual fund or exchange-traded fund, you own a bit of Merck stock. That is one reason why fund giants Vanguard and BlackRock buy Moderna shares. In fact, more than 73% of Moderna’s outstanding shares are owned by institutional investors.

Read the original article on Investopedia.