Could Weebit Nano Limited’s (ASX:WBT) Investor Composition Influence The Stock Price?

The big shareholder groups in Weebit Nano Limited (ASX:WBT) have power over the company. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. Warren Buffett said that he likes ‘a business with enduring competitive advantages that is run by able and owner-oriented people’. So it’s nice to see some insider ownership, because it may suggest that management is owner-oriented.

Weebit Nano is not a large company by global standards. It has a market capitalization of AU$41m, which means it wouldn’t have the attention of many institutional investors. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions are not on the share registry. Let’s take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about WBT.

View our latest analysis for Weebit Nano

ASX:WBT Ownership Summary January 3rd 19
ASX:WBT Ownership Summary January 3rd 19

What Does The Lack Of Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Weebit Nano?

Small companies that are not very actively traded often lack institutional investors, but it’s less common to see large companies without them.

There could be various reasons why no institutions own shares in a company. Typically, small, newly listed companies don’t attract much attention from fund managers, because it would not be possible for large fund managers to build a meaningful position in the company. Alternatively, there might be something about the company that has kept institutional investors away. Institutional investors may not find the historic growth of the business impressive, or there might be other factors at play. You can see the past revenue performance of Weebit Nano, for yourself, below.

ASX:WBT Income Statement Export January 3rd 19
ASX:WBT Income Statement Export January 3rd 19

Weebit Nano is not owned by hedge funds. We’re not picking up on any analyst coverage of the stock at the moment, so the company is unlikely to be widely held.

Insider Ownership Of Weebit Nano

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.

Insider ownership is positive when it signals leadership are thinking like the true owners of the company. However, high insider ownership can also give immense power to a small group within the company. This can be negative in some circumstances.

It seems insiders own a significant proportion of Weebit Nano Limited. Insiders own AU$14m worth of shares in the AU$41m company. 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, mostly retail investors, hold a substantial 63% stake in WBT, suggesting it is a fairly popular stock. This size of ownership gives retail investors collective power. They can and probably do influence decisions on executive compensation, dividend policies and proposed business acquisitions.

Next Steps:

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

Many find it useful to take an in depth look at how a company has performed in the past. You can access this detailed graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow .

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.

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.