Do Directors Own Universal Biosensors, Inc. (ASX:UBI) Shares?

The big shareholder groups in Universal Biosensors, Inc. (ASX:UBI) have power over the company. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.

Universal Biosensors is not a large company by global standards. It has a market capitalization of AU$32m, which means it wouldn’t have the attention of many institutional investors. In the chart below, we can see that institutional investors have bought into the company. Let’s delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about Universal Biosensors.

View our latest analysis for Universal Biosensors

ASX:UBI Ownership Summary, February 13th 2020
ASX:UBI Ownership Summary, February 13th 2020

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Universal Biosensors?

Many institutions measure their performance against an index that approximates the local market. So they usually pay more attention to companies that are included in major indices.

We can see that Universal Biosensors does have institutional investors; and they hold 12% of the stock. This suggests some credibility amongst professional investors. But we can’t rely on that fact alone, since institutions make bad investments sometimes, just like everyone does. When multiple institutions own a stock, there’s always a risk that they are in a ‘crowded trade’. When such a trade goes wrong, multiple parties may compete to sell stock fast. This risk is higher in a company without a history of growth. You can see Universal Biosensors’s historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.

ASX:UBI Income Statement, February 13th 2020
ASX:UBI Income Statement, February 13th 2020

Universal Biosensors is not owned by hedge funds. Looking at our data, we can see that the largest shareholder is Viburnum Funds Pty Ltd. with 21% of shares outstanding. CVC Limited is the second largest shareholder with 13% of common stock, followed by Jencay Capital Pty Ltd, holding 12% of the stock.

On studying the facts and figures more closely, we found that the top 4 shareholders control 56% of the company which implies that this group has considerable sway over the company’s decision-making.

While it makes sense to study institutional ownership data for a company, it also makes sense to study analyst sentiments to know which way the wind is blowing. Our information suggests that there isn’t any analyst coverage of the stock, so it is probably little known.

Insider Ownership Of Universal Biosensors

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

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.

Our data suggests that insiders own under 1% of Universal Biosensors, Inc. in their own names. However, it’s possible that insiders might have an indirect interest through a more complex structure. It seems the board members have no more than AU$233k worth of shares in the AU$32m company. Many tend to prefer to see a board with bigger shareholdings. A good next step might be to take a look at this free summary of insider buying and selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 43% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. While this size of ownership may not be enough to sway a policy decision in their favour, they can still make a collective impact on company policies.

Private Equity Ownership

With an ownership of 34%, private equity firms are in a position to play a role in shaping corporate strategy with a focus on value creation. Some investors might be encouraged by this, since private equity are sometimes able to encourage strategies that help the market see the value in the company. Alternatively, those holders might be exiting the investment after taking it public.

Private Company Ownership

Our data indicates that Private Companies hold 10%, 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:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Be aware that Universal Biosensors is showing 1 warning sign in our investment analysis , you should know about…

If you would prefer check out another company — one with potentially superior financials — then do not miss this free list of interesting companies, backed by strong financial data.

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.