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If you want to know who really controls Lithium Australia NL (ASX:LIT), then you’ll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Institutions will often hold stock in bigger companies, and we expect to see insiders owning a noticeable percentage of the smaller ones. 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.’
Lithium Australia is a smaller company with a market capitalization of AU$38m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it’s seems that institutional investors have not yet purchased much of the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about LIT.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Lithium Australia?
Institutional investors commonly compare their own returns to the returns of a commonly followed index. So they generally do consider buying larger companies that are included in the relevant benchmark index.
Since institutions own under 5% of Lithium Australia, many may not have spent much time considering the stock. But it’s clear that some have; and they liked it enough to buy in. If the company is growing earnings, that may indicate that it is just beginning to catch the attention of these deep-pocketed investors. When multiple institutional investors want to buy shares, we often see a rising share price. The past revenue trajectory (shown below) can be an indication of future growth, but there are no guarantees.
Hedge funds don’t have many shares in Lithium Australia. As far I can tell there isn’t analyst coverage of the company, so it is probably flying under the radar.
Insider Ownership Of Lithium Australia
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.
Most consider insider ownership a positive because it can indicate the board is well aligned with other shareholders. However, on some occasions too much power is concentrated within this group.
Our most recent data indicates that insiders own some shares in Lithium Australia NL. In their own names, insiders own AU$3.0m worth of stock in the AU$38m 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 — mostly retail investors — own 77% of Lithium Australia . 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.
Private Company Ownership
Our data indicates that Private Companies hold 13%, of the company’s shares. 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.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important.
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. So take a peek at this free free list of interesting companies.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.