What Kind Of Investor Owns Most Of ThinkSmart Limited (LON:TSL)?

The big shareholder groups in ThinkSmart Limited (LON:TSL) have power over the company. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it’s not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of smaller companies. 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 UK£23m, ThinkSmart 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 own shares in the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about ThinkSmart.

View our latest analysis for ThinkSmart

AIM:TSL Ownership Summary June 4th 2020
AIM:TSL Ownership Summary June 4th 2020

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About ThinkSmart?

Institutions typically measure themselves against a benchmark when reporting to their own investors, so they often become more enthusiastic about a stock once it’s included in a major index. We would expect most companies to have some institutions on the register, especially if they are growing.

As you can see, institutional investors own 26% of ThinkSmart. 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. When multiple institutions own a stock, there’s always a risk that they are in a ‘crowded trade’. When such a trade goes wrong, multiple parties may compete to sell stock fast. This risk is higher in a company without a history of growth. You can see ThinkSmart’s historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.

AIM:TSL Income Statement June 4th 2020
AIM:TSL Income Statement June 4th 2020

We note that hedge funds don’t have a meaningful investment in ThinkSmart. Looking at our data, we can see that the largest shareholder is the CEO Natale Montarello with 29% of shares outstanding. The second largest shareholder with 16%, is Lombard Odier Asset Management (Europe) Limited, followed by Forager Funds Management Pty Ltd., with an ownership of 10%.

Further, we found that the top 3 shareholders have a combined ownership of 55% in the company, meaning that they are powerful enough to influence 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. Our information suggests that there isn’t any analyst coverage of the stock, so it is probably little known.

Insider Ownership Of ThinkSmart

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.

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 ThinkSmart Limited. It has a market capitalization of just UK£23m, and insiders have UK£9.5m worth of shares in their own names. I would say this shows alignment with shareholders, but it is worth noting that the company is still quite small; some insiders may have founded the business. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 29% 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.

Private Company Ownership

We can see that Private Companies own 3.3%, of the shares on issue. It’s hard to draw any conclusions from this fact alone, so its worth looking into who owns those private companies. Sometimes insiders or other related parties have an interest in shares in a public company through a separate private company.

Next Steps:

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 3 warning signs with ThinkSmart (at least 1 which makes us a bit uncomfortable) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

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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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.