How Much Of Sunstone Metals Limited (ASX:STM) Do Insiders Own?

If you want to know who really controls Sunstone Metals Limited (ASX:STM), 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. 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.’

With a market capitalization of AU$33m, Sunstone Metals is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. Taking a look at the our data on the ownership groups (below), it’s seems that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let’s delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about STM.

View our latest analysis for Sunstone Metals

ASX:STM Ownership Summary November 4th 18
ASX:STM Ownership Summary November 4th 18

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Sunstone Metals?

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.

Sunstone Metals already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 13% 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 Sunstone Metals’s historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.

ASX:STM Income Statement Export November 4th 18
ASX:STM Income Statement Export November 4th 18

Sunstone Metals is not owned by hedge funds. As far I can tell there isn’t analyst coverage of the company, so it is probably flying under the radar.

Insider Ownership Of Sunstone Metals

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. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

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 information suggests that insiders maintain a significant holding in Sunstone Metals Limited. Insiders have a AU$6m stake in this AU$33m business. I would say this shows alignment with shareholders, but it is worth noting that the company is still quite small; some insiders may have founded the business. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, who are mostly retail investors, collectively hold 57% of Sunstone Metals 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.

Private Company Ownership

Our data indicates that Private Companies hold 12%, of the company’s shares. Private companies may be related parties. Sometimes insiders have an interest in a public company through a holding in a private company, rather than in their own capacity as an individual. While it’s hard to draw any broad stroke conclusions, it is worth noting as an area for further research.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important.

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.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this 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.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.