Every investor in Acorn International, Inc. (NYSE:ATV) 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.
Acorn International is a smaller company with a market capitalization of US$45m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. In the chart below below, we can see that institutions are not really that prevalent on the share registry. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about ATV.
What Does The Lack Of Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Acorn International?
Institutional investors often avoid companies that are too small, too illiquid or too risky for their tastes. But it’s unusual to see larger companies without any institutional investors.
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. Institutional investors may not find the historic growth of the business impressive, or there might be other factors at play. You can see the past revenue performance of Acorn International, for yourself, below.
We note that hedge funds don’t have a meaningful investment in Acorn International. As far I can tell there isn’t analyst coverage of the company, so it is probably flying under the radar.
Insider Ownership Of Acorn International
While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. 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.
Our information suggests that insiders own more than half of Acorn International, Inc.. This gives them effective control of the company. So they have a US$36m stake in this US$45m business. It is good to see this level of investment. You can check here to see if those insiders have been buying recently.
General Public Ownership
The general public, with a 15% 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 Company Ownership
Our data indicates that Private Companies hold 3.4%, 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.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important.
I always like to check for a history of revenue growth. You can too, by accessing this free chart of historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this 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.
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