Do Institutions Own Western Energy Services Corp. (TSE:WRG) Shares?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
May 15, 2020
TSX:WRG

Every investor in Western Energy Services Corp. (TSE:WRG) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. 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.

Western Energy Services is not a large company by global standards. It has a market capitalization of CA$25m, 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 noticeable on the share registry. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Western Energy Services.

View our latest analysis for Western Energy Services

TSX:WRG Ownership Summary May 15th 2020
TSX:WRG Ownership Summary May 15th 2020

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Western Energy Services?

Institutions typically measure themselves against a benchmark when reporting to their own investors, so they often become more enthusiastic about a stock once it's included in a major index. We would expect most companies to have some institutions on the register, especially if they are growing.

We can see that Western Energy Services does have institutional investors; and they hold 44% of the stock. This implies the analysts working for those institutions have looked at the stock and they like it. But just like anyone else, they could be wrong. If multiple institutions change their view on a stock at the same time, you could see the share price drop fast. It's therefore worth looking at Western Energy Services's earnings history, below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

TSX:WRG Income Statement May 15th 2020
TSX:WRG Income Statement May 15th 2020

Hedge funds don't have many shares in Western Energy Services. Alberta Investment Management Corporation is currently the largest shareholder, with 19% of shares outstanding. With 17% and 11% of the shares outstanding respectively, G2S2 Capital Inc. and Matco Investments Ltd. are the second and third largest shareholders.

On studying the facts and figures more closely, we found that the top 4 shareholders control 57% of the company which implies that this group has considerable sway over the company's decision-making.

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 are a reasonable number of analysts covering the stock, so it might be useful to find out their aggregate view on the future.

Insider Ownership Of Western Energy Services

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. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

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.

Our information suggests that insiders maintain a significant holding in Western Energy Services Corp.. It has a market capitalization of just CA$25m, and insiders have CA$3.4m worth of shares in their own names. This may suggest that the founders still own a lot of shares. You can click here to see if they have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 13% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. This size of ownership, while considerable, may not be enough to change company policy if the decision is not in sync with other large shareholders.

Private Equity Ownership

With a stake of 11%, private equity firms could influence the WRG board. Sometimes we see private equity stick around for the long term, but generally speaking they have a shorter investment horizon and -- as the name suggests -- don't invest in public companies much. After some time they may look to sell and redeploy capital elsewhere.

Private Company Ownership

We can see that Private Companies own 17%, 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. Take risks, for example - Western Energy Services has 3 warning signs we think you should be aware of.

If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its future.

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.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.

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