Can We See Significant Insider Ownership On The Senetas Corporation Limited (ASX:SEN) Share Register?

A look at the shareholders of Senetas Corporation Limited (ASX:SEN) can tell us which group is most powerful. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. 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.

With a market capitalization of AU$79m, Senetas is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it’s seems that institutions are not on the share registry. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about SEN.

View our latest analysis for Senetas

ASX:SEN Ownership Summary, November 6th 2019
ASX:SEN Ownership Summary, November 6th 2019

What Does The Lack Of Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Senetas?

Small companies that are not very actively traded often lack institutional investors, but it’s less common to see large companies without them.

There could be various reasons why no institutions own shares in a company. Typically, small, newly listed companies don’t attract much attention from fund managers, because it would not be possible for large fund managers to build a meaningful position in the company. Alternatively, there might be something about the company that has kept institutional investors away. Senetas’s earnings and revenue track record (below) may not be compelling to institutional investors — or they simply might not have looked at the business closely.

ASX:SEN Income Statement, November 6th 2019
ASX:SEN Income Statement, November 6th 2019

Hedge funds don’t have many shares in Senetas. As far I can tell there isn’t analyst coverage of the company, so it is probably flying under the radar.

Insider Ownership Of Senetas

The definition of company insiders can be subjective, and does vary between jurisdictions. Our data reflects individual insiders, capturing board members at the very least. Management ultimately answers to the board. However, it is not uncommon for managers to be executive board members, especially if they are a founder or the CEO.

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.

Our information suggests that insiders maintain a significant holding in Senetas Corporation Limited. It has a market capitalization of just AU$79m, and insiders have AU$12m worth of shares in their own names. I would say this shows alignment with shareholders, but it is worth noting that the company is still quite small; some insiders may have founded the business. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, who are mostly retail investors, collectively hold 55% of Senetas shares. This size of ownership gives retail investors collective power. They can and probably do influence decisions on executive compensation, dividend policies and proposed business acquisitions.

Private Company Ownership

Our data indicates that Private Companies hold 29%, of the company’s shares. It might be worth looking deeper into this. If related parties, such as insiders, have an interest in one of these private companies, that should be disclosed in the annual report. Private companies may also have a strategic interest in the company.

Next Steps:

It’s always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Senetas better, we need to consider many other factors.

I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can access this interactive graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow for free.

Of course this may not be the best stock to buy. Therefore, you may wish to see our free collection of interesting prospects boasting favorable financials.

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.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.