Can We See Significant Insider Ownership On The China Automotive Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CAAS) Share Register?

Every investor in China Automotive Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CAAS) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. I quite like to see at least a little bit of insider ownership. As Charlie Munger said ‘Show me the incentive and I will show you the outcome.

With a market capitalization of US$84m, China Automotive Systems is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. In the chart below, we can see that institutions don’t own many shares in the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about China Automotive Systems.

View our latest analysis for China Automotive Systems

NasdaqCM:CAAS Ownership Summary, February 3rd 2020
NasdaqCM:CAAS Ownership Summary, February 3rd 2020

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About China Automotive Systems?

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.

Since institutions own under 5% of China Automotive Systems, many may not have spent much time considering the stock. But it’s clear that some have; and they liked it enough to buy in. If the business gets stronger from here, we could see a situation where more institutions are keen to buy. It is not uncommon to see a big share price rise if multiple institutional investors are trying to buy into a stock at the same time. So check out the historic earnings trajectory, below, but keep in mind it’s the future that counts most.

NasdaqCM:CAAS Income Statement, February 3rd 2020
NasdaqCM:CAAS Income Statement, February 3rd 2020

China Automotive Systems is not owned by hedge funds. Wiselink Holdings Limited is currently the largest shareholder, with 9.6% of shares outstanding. The second largest shareholder with 1.1%, is Renaissance Technologies Corp., followed by UBS Asset Management, with an ownership of 0.4%.

A deeper look at our ownership data shows that the top 12 shareholders collectively hold less than 50% of the register, suggesting a large group of small holders where no one share holder has a majority.

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 is a little analyst coverage of the stock, but not much. So there is room for it to gain more coverage.

Insider Ownership Of China Automotive Systems

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.

Insider ownership is positive when it signals leadership are thinking like the true owners of the company. However, high insider ownership can also give immense power to a small group within the company. This can be negative in some circumstances.

It seems that insiders own more than half the China Automotive Systems, Inc. stock. This gives them a lot of power. So they have a US$45m stake in this US$84m business. Most would be pleased to see the board is investing alongside them. You may wish todiscover (for free) if they have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 35% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. This size of ownership, while considerable, may not be enough to change company policy if the decision is not in sync with other large shareholders.

Private Company Ownership

Our data indicates that Private Companies hold 9.8%, of the company’s shares. It’s hard to draw any conclusions from this fact alone, so its worth looking into who owns those private companies. Sometimes insiders or other related parties have an interest in shares in a public company through a separate private company.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we’ve spotted 3 warning signs for China Automotive Systems you should know about.

But ultimately it is the future, not the past, that will determine how well the owners of this business will do. Therefore we think it advisable to take a look at this free report showing whether analysts are predicting a brighter 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.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.