What Kind Of Shareholder Appears On The Touchstar plc’s (LON:TST) Shareholder Register?

The big shareholder groups in Touchstar plc (LON:TST) have power over the company. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. 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.

With a market capitalization of UK£4.4m, Touchstar 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 are noticeable on the share registry. Let’s take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about Touchstar.

View our latest analysis for Touchstar

AIM:TST Ownership Summary, February 12th 2020
AIM:TST Ownership Summary, February 12th 2020

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Touchstar?

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.

Touchstar already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 61% of the company. 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 Touchstar’s historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.

AIM:TST Income Statement, February 12th 2020
AIM:TST Income Statement, February 12th 2020

Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. Touchstar is not owned by hedge funds. The company’s largest shareholder is Thomas William Charlton, with ownership of 11%, The second and third largest shareholders are Chelverton Asset Management Limited and Ian Martin, holding 10% and 9.5%, respectively. Ian Martin also happens to hold the title of Chairman of the Board.

We also observed that the top 7 shareholders account for 50% of the register, with a few smaller shareholders to balance the interests of the larger ones to a certain extent.

While studying institutional ownership for a company can add value to your research, it is also a good practice to research analyst recommendations to get a deeper understand of a stock’s expected performance. There is some analyst coverage of the stock, but it could still become more well known, with time.

Insider Ownership Of Touchstar

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.

Our information suggests that insiders maintain a significant holding in Touchstar plc. Insiders own UK£1.1m worth of shares in the UK£4.4m company. This may suggest that the founders still own a lot of shares. You can click here to see if they 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.

Next Steps:

I find it very interesting to look at who exactly owns a company. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Case in point: We’ve spotted 5 warning signs for Touchstar you should be aware of, and 2 of them are a bit concerning.

If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its future.

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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