If you want to know who really controls Freelancer Limited (ASX:FLN), then you’ll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. 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.
With a market capitalization of AU$190m, Freelancer is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. In the chart below, we can see that institutions don’t own many shares in the company. Let’s delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about Freelancer.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Freelancer?
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.
Less than 5% of Freelancer 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. It is not uncommon to see a big share price rise if multiple institutional investors are trying to buy into a stock at the same time. So check out the historic earnings trajectory, below, but keep in mind it’s the future that counts most.
We note that hedge funds don’t have a meaningful investment in Freelancer. The company’s CEO Robert Barrie is the largest shareholder with 43% of shares outstanding. The second and third largest shareholders are Simon Alvin Clausen and FIL Limited, holding 36% and 2.9%, respectively.
Additionally, we found that 2 of the top shareholders have a considerable amount of ownership in the company, via their 79% stake.
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 Freelancer
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.
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.
Our most recent data indicates that insiders own the majority of Freelancer Limited. This means they can collectively make decisions for the company. That means they own AU$158m worth of shares in the AU$190m company. That’s quite meaningful. Most would argue this is a positive, showing strong alignment with shareholders. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.
General Public Ownership
The general public, with a 13% 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.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We’ve identified 2 warning signs with Freelancer , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
Of course this may not be the best stock to buy. Therefore, you may wish to see our free collection of interesting prospects boasting favorable financials.
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 email@example.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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