What Kind Of Investor Owns Most Of Freelancer Limited (ASX:FLN)?

The big shareholder groups in Freelancer Limited (ASX:FLN) have power over the company. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. 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.’

Freelancer is a smaller company with a market capitalization of AU$335m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutional investors have not yet purchased much of the company. Let’s take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about FLN.

Check out our latest analysis for Freelancer

ASX:FLN Ownership Summary, August 28th 2019
ASX:FLN Ownership Summary, August 28th 2019

What Does The Lack Of Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Freelancer?

Institutional investors often avoid companies that are too small, too illiquid or too risky for their tastes. But it’s unusual to see larger companies without any institutional investors.

There are many reasons why a company might not have any institutions on the share registry. It may be hard for institutions to buy large amounts of shares, if liquidity (the amount of shares traded each day) is low. If the company has not needed to raise capital, institutions might lack the opportunity to build a position. It is also possible that fund managers don’t own the stock because they aren’t convinced it will perform well. Institutional investors may not find the historic growth of the business impressive, or there might be other factors at play. You can see the past revenue performance of Freelancer, for yourself, below.

ASX:FLN Income Statement, August 28th 2019
ASX:FLN Income Statement, August 28th 2019

Freelancer is not owned by hedge funds. 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 Freelancer

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

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 own more than half of Freelancer Limited. This gives them effective control of the company. That means they own AU$278m worth of shares in the AU$335m company. That’s quite meaningful. It is good to see this level of investment. You can check here to see if those insiders have been buying recently.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 16% 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.

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.

But ultimately it is the future, not the past, that will determine how well the owners of this business will do. Therefore we think it advisable to take a look at this free report showing whether analysts are predicting a brighter 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.