Do Institutions Own Cogstate Limited (ASX:CGS) Shares?

A look at the shareholders of Cogstate Limited (ASX:CGS) can tell us which group is most powerful. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. 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.

Cogstate is a smaller company with a market capitalization of AU$53m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let’s delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about Cogstate.

Check out our latest analysis for Cogstate

ASX:CGS Ownership Summary May 30th 2020
ASX:CGS Ownership Summary May 30th 2020

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Cogstate?

Institutional investors commonly compare their own returns to the returns of a commonly followed index. So they generally do consider buying larger companies that are included in the relevant benchmark index.

As you can see, institutional investors own 25% of Cogstate. This can indicate that the company has a certain degree of credibility in the investment community. However, it is best to be wary of relying on the supposed validation that comes with institutional investors. They too, get it wrong sometimes. 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 Cogstate, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

ASX:CGS Income Statement May 30th 2020
ASX:CGS Income Statement May 30th 2020

Cogstate is not owned by hedge funds. David Dolby is currently the largest shareholder, with 15% of shares outstanding. The second and third largest shareholders are Martyn Myer and Australian Ethical Investment Ltd, holding 14% and 13%, respectively.

A deeper analysis brings to light the fact that 56% 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. Our information suggests that there isn’t any analyst coverage of the stock, so it is probably little known.

Insider Ownership Of Cogstate

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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.

It seems insiders own a significant proportion of Cogstate Limited. It has a market capitalization of just AU$53m, and insiders have AU$24m worth of shares in their own names. 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 21% 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.

Public Company Ownership

Public companies currently own 6.9% of CGS stock. It’s hard to say for sure, but this suggests they have entwined business interests. This might be a strategic stake, so it’s worth watching this space for changes in ownership.

Next Steps:

It’s always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Cogstate better, we need to consider many other factors. Take risks, for example – Cogstate has 4 warning signs (and 1 which is a bit unpleasant) we think 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.

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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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.