What Kind Of Shareholders Own Sportech PLC (LON:SPO)?

If you want to know who really controls Sportech PLC (LON:SPO), 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. Companies that used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.

Sportech is a smaller company with a market capitalization of UK£30m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. In the chart below, we can see that institutional investors have bought into the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Sportech.

See our latest analysis for Sportech

LSE:SPO Ownership Summary April 9th 2020
LSE:SPO Ownership Summary April 9th 2020

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Sportech?

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.

As you can see, institutional investors own 85% of Sportech. This suggests some credibility amongst professional investors. But we can’t rely on that fact alone, since institutions make bad investments sometimes, just like everyone does. 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 Sportech’s historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.

LSE:SPO Income Statement April 9th 2020
LSE:SPO Income Statement April 9th 2020

Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. Sportech is not owned by hedge funds. Looking at our data, we can see that the largest shareholder is Lombard Odier Asset Management (Europe) Limited with 22% of shares outstanding. With 16% and 8.0% of the shares outstanding respectively, Harwood Capital LLP and Artemis Investment Management LLP are the second and third largest shareholders.

A deeper analysis brings to light the fact that 53% of the company is controlled by the top 4 shareholders suggesting that these owners wield significant influence on the business.

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. There is a little analyst coverage of the stock, but not much. So there is room for it to gain more coverage.

Insider Ownership Of Sportech

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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.

Shareholders would probably be interested to learn that insiders own shares in Sportech PLC. As individuals, the insiders collectively own UK£418k worth of the UK£30m company. It is good to see some investment by insiders, but I usually like to see higher insider holdings. It might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 14% 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:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. For instance, we’ve identified 2 warning signs for Sportech that you should be aware of.

Ultimately the future is most important. You can access this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

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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