If you want to know who really controls VersaBank (TSE:VB), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. 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.
With a market capitalization of CA$332m, VersaBank is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. In the chart below, we can see that institutions don't own many shares in the company. Let's delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about VersaBank.
What Does The Lack Of Institutional Ownership Tell Us About VersaBank?
Institutional investors often avoid companies that are too small, too illiquid or too risky for their tastes. But it's unusual to see larger companies without any institutional investors.
There are multiple explanations for why institutions don't own a stock. The most common is that the company is too small relative to funds under management, so the institution does not bother to look closely at the company. Alternatively, there might be something about the company that has kept institutional investors away. VersaBank might not have the sort of past performance institutions are looking for, or perhaps they simply have not studied the business closely.
We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in VersaBank. 340268 Ontario Limited is currently the company's largest shareholder with 29% of shares outstanding. Meanwhile, the second and third largest shareholders, hold 7.8% and 5.0%, of the shares outstanding, respectively. David Taylor, who is the third-largest shareholder, also happens to hold the title of Member of the Board of Directors.
A deeper look at our ownership data shows that the top 25 shareholders collectively hold less than half of the register, suggesting a large group of small holders where no single shareholder has a majority.
While it makes sense to study institutional ownership data for a company, it also makes sense to study analyst sentiments to know which way the wind is blowing. There is a little analyst coverage of the stock, but not much. So there is room for it to gain more coverage.
Insider Ownership Of VersaBank
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. The company management answer to the board and the latter should represent the interests of shareholders. Notably, sometimes top-level managers are on the board themselves.
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 most recent data indicates that insiders own a reasonable proportion of VersaBank. Insiders have a CA$48m stake in this CA$332m business. 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 56% of VersaBank shares. 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.
Private Company Ownership
Our data indicates that Private Companies hold 29%, 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.
I find it very interesting to look at who exactly owns a company. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Case in point: We've spotted 2 warning signs for VersaBank you should be aware of, and 1 of them is a bit unpleasant.
If you would prefer discover what analysts are predicting in terms of future growth, do not miss this free report on analyst forecasts.
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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