Could Auswide Bank Ltd’s (ASX:ABA) Investor Composition Influence The Stock Price?

Every investor in Auswide Bank Ltd (ASX:ABA) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. 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.’

Auswide Bank is a smaller company with a market capitalization of AU$223m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. In the chart below 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 ABA.

View our latest analysis for Auswide Bank

ASX:ABA Ownership Summary, March 11th 2019
ASX:ABA Ownership Summary, March 11th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Auswide Bank?

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.

Auswide Bank already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 14% of the company. 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 Auswide Bank’s historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.

ASX:ABA Income Statement, March 11th 2019
ASX:ABA Income Statement, March 11th 2019

Auswide Bank is not owned by hedge funds. There is some analyst coverage of the stock, but it could still become more well known, with time.

Insider Ownership Of Auswide Bank

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. The company management answer to the board; and the latter should represent the interests of shareholders. Notably, sometimes top-level managers are on the board, themselves.

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 a reasonable proportion of Auswide Bank Ltd. It has a market capitalization of just AU$223m, and insiders have AU$29m 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 72% of Auswide Bank 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.

Next Steps:

It’s always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Auswide Bank better, we need to consider many other factors.

I always like to check for a history of revenue growth. You can too, by accessing this free chart of historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.

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.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

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. Thank you for reading.