Do Institutions Own U.S. Energy Corp. (NASDAQ:USEG) Shares?

Every investor in U.S. Energy Corp. (NASDAQ:USEG) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. Warren Buffett said that he likes ‘a business with enduring competitive advantages that is run by able and owner-oriented people’. So it’s nice to see some insider ownership, because it may suggest that management is owner-oriented.

U.S. Energy is a smaller company with a market capitalization of US$5.9m, 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 not really that prevalent on the share registry. Let’s take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about U.S. Energy.

See our latest analysis for U.S. Energy

NasdaqCM:USEG Ownership Summary, February 19th 2020
NasdaqCM:USEG Ownership Summary, February 19th 2020

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About U.S. Energy?

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.

Since institutions own under 5% of U.S. Energy, many may not have spent much time considering the stock. But it’s clear that some have; and they liked it enough to buy in. If the company is growing earnings, that may indicate that it is just beginning to catch the attention of these deep-pocketed investors. When multiple institutional investors want to buy shares, we often see a rising share price. The past revenue trajectory (shown below) can be an indication of future growth, but there are no guarantees.

NasdaqCM:USEG Income Statement, February 19th 2020
NasdaqCM:USEG Income Statement, February 19th 2020

Hedge funds don’t have many shares in U.S. Energy. Looking at our data, we can see that the largest shareholder is Angelus Capital, LLC with 43% of shares outstanding. Next, we have Ryan Smith and David Veltri as the second and third largest shareholders, holding 4.5% and 1.9%, of the shares outstanding, respectively. Ryan Smith also happens to hold the title of Chief Executive Officer.

Additionally, we found that 51% of the shares are owned by the top 4 shareholders. In other words, these shareholders have a meaningful say in the decisions of the company.

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. 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 U.S. Energy

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.

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.

We can see that insiders own shares in U.S. Energy Corp.. In their own names, insiders own US$477k worth of stock in the US$5.9m company. Some would say this shows alignment of interests between shareholders and the board, though I generally prefer to see bigger insider holdings. But it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.

General Public Ownership

With a 46% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over USEG. 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 43%, private equity firms are in a position to play a role in shaping corporate strategy with a focus on value creation. Some might like this, because private equity are sometimes activists who hold management accountable. But other times, private equity is selling out, having taking the company public.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. For example, we’ve discovered 3 warning signs for U.S. Energy (1 is a bit concerning!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

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.

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.

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