Can We See Significant Insider Ownership On The TAG Oil Ltd. (TSE:TAO) Share Register?

A look at the shareholders of TAG Oil Ltd. (TSE:TAO) can tell us which group is most powerful. 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.

With a market capitalization of CA$32m, TAG Oil is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. In the chart below below, we can see that institutional investors have not yet purchased much of the company. Let’s delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about TAO.

Check out our latest analysis for TAG Oil

TSX:TAO Ownership Summary, September 3rd 2019
TSX:TAO Ownership Summary, September 3rd 2019

What Does The Lack Of Institutional Ownership Tell Us About TAG Oil?

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 fund under management, so the institition does not bother to look closely at 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 TAG Oil, for yourself, below.

TSX:TAO Income Statement, September 3rd 2019
TSX:TAO Income Statement, September 3rd 2019

Hedge funds don’t have many shares in TAG Oil. As far I can tell there isn’t analyst coverage of the company, so it is probably flying under the radar.

Insider Ownership Of TAG Oil

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.

We can see that insiders own shares in TAG Oil Ltd.. In their own names, insiders own CA$1.7m worth of stock in the CA$32m company. This shows at least some alignment, but I usually like to see larger insider holdings. 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 75% of TAG Oil 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

We can see that Private Companies own 19%, of the shares on issue. It’s hard to draw any conclusions from this fact alone, so its worth looking into who owns those private companies. Sometimes insiders or other related parties have an interest in shares in a public company through a separate private company.

Next Steps:

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.

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, 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.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.