Could The Regional Express Holdings Limited (ASX:REX) Ownership Structure Tell Us Something Useful?

The big shareholder groups in Regional Express Holdings Limited (ASX:REX) have power over the company. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it’s not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of smaller companies. 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 AU$152m, Regional Express Holdings is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. In the chart below below, we can see that institutions don’t own shares in the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about REX.

Check out our latest analysis for Regional Express Holdings

ASX:REX Ownership Summary, August 22nd 2019
ASX:REX Ownership Summary, August 22nd 2019

What Does The Lack Of Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Regional Express Holdings?

We don’t tend to see institutional investors holding stock of companies that are very risky, thinly traded, or very small. Though we do sometimes see large companies without institutions on the register, it’s not particularly common.

There are multiple explanations for why institutions don’t own a stock. The most common is that the company is too small relative to fund under management, so the institition does not bother to look closely at the company. Alternatively, there might be something about the company that has kept institutional investors away. Regional Express Holdings’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:REX Income Statement, August 22nd 2019
ASX:REX Income Statement, August 22nd 2019

We note that hedge funds don’t have a meaningful investment in Regional Express Holdings. We’re not picking up on any analyst coverage of the stock at the moment, so the company is unlikely to be widely held.

Insider Ownership Of Regional Express Holdings

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. 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.

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.

Our information suggests that insiders own more than half of Regional Express Holdings Limited. This gives them effective control of the company. That means they own AU$102m worth of shares in the AU$152m company. That’s quite meaningful. Most would argue this is a positive, showing strong alignment with shareholders. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 23% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. While this group can’t necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

Private Equity Ownership

With a stake of 5.0%, private equity firms could influence the REX board. Sometimes we see private equity stick around for the long term, but generally speaking they have a shorter investment horizon and — as the name suggests — don’t invest in public companies much. After some time they may look to sell and redeploy capital elsewhere.

Private Company Ownership

Our data indicates that Private Companies hold 5.1%, 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 Regional Express Holdings better, we need to consider many other factors.

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 .

Of course this may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free free list of interesting companies.

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.