A look at the shareholders of Waterco Limited (ASX:WAT) can tell us which group is most powerful. 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.’
Waterco is a smaller company with a market capitalization of AU$73m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. In the chart below below, we can see that institutions don’t own shares in the company. Let’s take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about WAT.
What Does The Lack Of Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Waterco?
Small companies that are not very actively traded often lack institutional investors, but it’s less common to see large companies without them.
There are multiple explanations for why institutions don’t own a stock. The most common is that the company is too small relative to fund under management, so the institition does not bother to look closely at the company. It is also possible that fund managers don’t own the stock because they aren’t convinced it will perform well. Waterco’s earnings and revenue track record (below) may not be compelling to institutional investors — or they simply might not have looked at the business closely.
Hedge funds don’t have many shares in Waterco. As far I can tell there isn’t analyst coverage of the company, so it is probably flying under the radar.
Insider Ownership Of Waterco
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. 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.
It seems that insiders own more than half the Waterco Limited stock. This gives them a lot of power. So they have a AU$47m stake in this AU$73m business. Most would be pleased to see the board is investing alongside them. You may wish todiscover (for free) if they have been buying or selling.
General Public Ownership
The general public, with a 18% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. This size of ownership, while considerable, may not be enough to change company policy if the decision is not in sync with other large shareholders.
Private Company Ownership
We can see that Private Companies own 18%, 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.
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 like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can find historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.
Of course this may not be the best stock to buy. Therefore, you may wish to see our free collection of interesting prospects boasting favorable financials.
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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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.