How Much Of DroneShield Limited (ASX:DRO) Do Insiders Own?

A look at the shareholders of DroneShield Limited (ASX:DRO) can tell us which group is most powerful. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it’s not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of 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.

With a market capitalization of AU$24m, DroneShield is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by 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 DroneShield.

See our latest analysis for DroneShield

ASX:DRO Ownership Summary May 18th 2020
ASX:DRO Ownership Summary May 18th 2020

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About DroneShield?

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.

Less than 5% of DroneShield is held by institutional investors. This suggests that some funds have the company in their sights, but many have not yet bought shares in it. So if the company itself can improve over time, we may well see more institutional buyers in the future. We sometimes see a rising share price when a few big institutions want to buy a certain stock at the same time. The history of earnings and revenue, which you can see below, could be helpful in considering if more institutional investors will want the stock. Of course, there are plenty of other factors to consider, too.

ASX:DRO Income Statement May 18th 2020
ASX:DRO Income Statement May 18th 2020

It looks like hedge funds own 12% of DroneShield shares. That’s interesting, because hedge funds can be quite active and activist. Many look for medium term catalysts that will drive the share price higher. Regal Funds Management Pty Limited is currently the largest shareholder, with 12% of shares outstanding. The second and third largest shareholders are Bergen Asset Management, LLC and Charles Goode, holding 8.0% and 6.8%, respectively.

Our studies suggest that the top 19 shareholders collectively control less than 50% of the company’s shares, meaning that the company’s shares are widely disseminated and there is no dominant shareholder.

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. As far I can tell there isn’t analyst coverage of the company, so it is probably flying under the radar.

Insider Ownership Of DroneShield

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. 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.

It seems insiders own a significant proportion of DroneShield Limited. It has a market capitalization of just AU$24m, and insiders have AU$5.1m 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, who are mostly retail investors, collectively hold 54% of DroneShield shares. With this size of ownership, retail investors can collectively play a role in decisions that affect shareholder returns, such as dividend policies and the appointment of directors. They can also exercise the power to decline an acquisition or merger that may not improve profitability.

Private Equity Ownership

With a stake of 8.0%, private equity firms could influence the DRO board. 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 6 warning signs for DroneShield (2 can’t be ignored!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

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.