Do Directors Own Class Limited (ASX:CL1) Shares?

Every investor in Class Limited (ASX:CL1) 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 generally like to see some degree of insider ownership, even if only a little. As Nassim Nicholas Taleb said, ‘Don’t tell me what you think, tell me what you have in your portfolio.

With a market capitalization of AU$218m, Class 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 are noticeable on the share registry. Let’s delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about Class.

See our latest analysis for Class

ASX:CL1 Ownership Summary, January 24th 2020
ASX:CL1 Ownership Summary, January 24th 2020

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Class?

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.

Class already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 37% of the company. 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 Class, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

ASX:CL1 Income Statement, January 24th 2020
ASX:CL1 Income Statement, January 24th 2020

We note that hedge funds don’t have a meaningful investment in Class. Our data shows that Spheria Asset Management Pty Ltd is the largest shareholder with 19% of shares outstanding. The second and third largest shareholders are Roderick Kibble and Pinnacle Fund Services Limited, holding 13% and 10%, respectively.

A deeper analysis brings to light the fact that 51% of the company is controlled by the top 5 shareholders suggesting that these owners wield significant influence on the business.

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. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of Class

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.

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.

It seems insiders own a significant proportion of Class Limited. Insiders have a AU$48m stake in this AU$218m business. 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

The general public, with a 36% 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 4.9%, of the company’s shares. 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.

Next Steps:

It’s always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Class better, we need to consider many other factors. For instance, we’ve identified 3 warning signs for Class (2 don’t sit too well with us) that you should be aware of.

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.

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.