Do Insiders Own Lots Of Shares In TAG Oil Ltd. (TSE:TAO)?

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Every investor in TAG Oil Ltd. (TSE:TAO) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. 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.’

TAG Oil is a smaller company with a market capitalization of CA$32m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutional investors have not yet purchased shares. Let’s delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about TAO.

View our latest analysis for TAG Oil

TSX:TAO Ownership Summary February 8th 19
TSX:TAO Ownership Summary February 8th 19

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 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. It is also possible that fund managers don’t own the stock because they aren’t convinced it will perform well. TAG Oil’s earnings and revenue track record (below) may not be compelling to institutional investors — or they simply might not have looked at the business closely.

TSX:TAO Income Statement Export February 8th 19
TSX:TAO Income Statement Export February 8th 19

TAG Oil is not owned by hedge funds. 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 an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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.

I can report that insiders do 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 — mostly retail investors — own 76% of TAG Oil . 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. 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.

Next Steps:

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

I always like to check for a history of revenue growth. You can too, by accessing this free chart of historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.

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.

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.