Do Insiders Own Lots Of Shares In West Wits Mining Limited (ASX:WWI)?

If you want to know who really controls West Wits Mining Limited (ASX:WWI), 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 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.’

West Wits Mining is not a large company by global standards. It has a market capitalization of AU$8.6m, which means it wouldn’t have the attention of many institutional investors. In the chart below below, we can see that institutional investors have not yet purchased shares. Let’s take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about WWI.

See our latest analysis for West Wits Mining

ASX:WWI Ownership Summary November 29th 18
ASX:WWI Ownership Summary November 29th 18

What Does The Lack Of Institutional Ownership Tell Us About West Wits Mining?

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 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. Alternatively, there might be something about the company that has kept institutional investors away. West Wits Mining might not have the sort of past performance institutions are looking for, or perhaps they simply have not studied the business closely.

ASX:WWI Income Statement Export November 29th 18
ASX:WWI Income Statement Export November 29th 18

Hedge funds don’t have many shares in West Wits Mining. Our information suggests that there isn’t any analyst coverage of the stock, so it is probably little known.

Insider Ownership Of West Wits Mining

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. Management ultimately answers to the board. However, it is not uncommon for managers to be executive board members, especially if they are a founder or the CEO.

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 insiders own a significant proportion of West Wits Mining Limited. It has a market capitalization of just AU$8.6m, and insiders have AU$1.2m 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 71% of West Wits Mining 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 8.0%, of the company’s shares. It might be worth looking deeper into this. If related parties, such as insiders, have an interest in one of these private companies, that should be disclosed in the annual report. Private companies may also have a strategic interest in the company.

Public Company Ownership

We can see that public companies hold 6.7%, of the WWI shares on issue. We can’t be certain, but this is quite possible this is a strategic stake. The businesses may be similar, or work together.

Next Steps:

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

I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can access this interactive graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow for free .

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.

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.