Why Afterpay Touch Group Limited’s (ASX:APT) Investor Composition Impacts Your Returns

Today, I will be analyzing Afterpay Touch Group Limited’s (ASX:APT) recent ownership structure, an important but not-so-popular subject among individual investors. When it comes to ownership structure of a company, the impact has been observed in both the long-and short-term performance of shares. The effect of an active institutional investor with a similar ownership as a passive pension-fund can be vastly different on a company’s corporate governance and accountability to shareholders. While this may be more interesting for long-term investors, short-term investors can also benefit by paying attention to when these institutions trade in order to take advantage of the heightened volatility. Therefore, it is beneficial for us to examine APT’s ownership structure in more detail.

Check out our latest analysis for Afterpay Touch Group

ASX:APT Ownership Summary July 19th 18
ASX:APT Ownership Summary July 19th 18

Institutional Ownership

APT’s 30.20% institutional ownership seems enough to cause large share price movements in the case of significant share sell-off or acquisitions by institutions, particularly when there is a low level of public shares available on the market to trade. Although APT has a high institutional ownership, such stock moves, in the short-term, are more commonly linked to a particular type of active institutional investors – hedge funds. For shareholders in APT, sharp price movements may not be a major concern as active hedge funds hold a relatively small stake in the company. Although this doesn’t necessarily lead to high short-term volatility, we should dig deeper into APT’s ownership structure to find how the remaining owner types can affect its investment profile.

Insider Ownership

Insiders form a group of important ownership types as they manage the company’s operations and decide the best use of capital. Insider ownership has been linked to better alignment between management and shareholders. 26.34% ownership of APT insiders is large enough to make an impact on shareholder returns. In general, this level of insider ownership has negatively affected underperforming (consistently low PE ratio) companies and positively affected the companies that outperform (consistently high PE ratio). Another aspect of insider ownership is to learn about their recent transactions. While insider buying is possibly a sign of a positive outlook for the company, selling doesn’t necessarily indicate a negative outlook as they may be selling to meet personal financial needs.

General Public Ownership

A big stake of 12.02% in APT is held by the general public. This level of ownership gives retail investors the power to sway key policy decisions such as board composition, executive compensation, and potential acquisitions. This is a positive sign for an investor who wants to be involved in key decision-making of the company.

Private Company Ownership

Another important group of owners for potential investors in APT are private companies that hold a stake of 31.44% in APT. These are companies that are mainly invested due to their strategic interests or are incentivized by reaping capital gains on investments their shareholdings. This kind of ownership, if predominantly strategic, can give these companies a significant power to affect APT’s business strategy. Thus, potential investors should look into these business relations and check how it can impact long-term shareholder returns.

Next Steps:

APT’s considerably high level of institutional ownership calls for further analysis into its margin of safety. This is to avoid getting trapped in a sustained sell-off that is often observed in stocks with this level of institutional participation. However, ownership structure should not be the only determining factor when you’re building an investment thesis for APT. Rather, you should be looking at fundamental drivers such as Afterpay Touch Group’s past track record and financial health. I highly recommend you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for APT’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for APT’s outlook.
  2. Financial Health: Is APT’s operations financially sustainable? Balance sheets can be hard to analyze, which is why we’ve done it for you. Check out our financial health checks here.
  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.
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.