Stock Analysis

Is Rio2 Limited's (CVE:RIO) Shareholder Ownership Skewed Towards Insiders?

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TSXV:RIO
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The big shareholder groups in Rio2 Limited (CVE:RIO) have power over the company. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it's not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of 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.

With a market capitalization of CA$149m, Rio2 is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. In the chart below, we can see that institutional investors have bought into the company. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about Rio2.

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TSXV:RIO Ownership Breakdown February 5th 2021

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Rio2?

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 Rio2 does have institutional investors; and they hold a good portion of the company's stock. This suggests some credibility amongst professional investors. But we can't rely on that fact alone since institutions make bad investments sometimes, just like everyone does. It is not uncommon to see a big share price drop if two large institutional investors try to sell out of a stock at the same time. So it is worth checking the past earnings trajectory of Rio2, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

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TSXV:RIO Earnings and Revenue Growth February 5th 2021

Rio2 is not owned by hedge funds. The company's largest shareholder is Eric Sprott, with ownership of 14%. Meanwhile, the second and third largest shareholders, hold 7.9% and 5.9%, of the shares outstanding, respectively. Alexander Black, who is the second-largest shareholder, also happens to hold the title of Chief Executive Officer.

Our studies suggest that the top 24 shareholders collectively control less than half of the company's shares, meaning that the company's shares are widely disseminated and there is no dominant shareholder.

While studying institutional ownership for a company can add value to your research, it is also a good practice to research analyst recommendations to get a deeper understand of a stock's expected performance. As far I can tell there isn't analyst coverage of the company, so it is probably flying under the radar.

Insider Ownership Of Rio2

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.

Most consider insider ownership a positive because it can indicate the board is well aligned with other shareholders. However, on some occasions too much power is concentrated within this group.

Our information suggests that insiders maintain a significant holding in Rio2 Limited. It has a market capitalization of just CA$149m, and insiders have CA$45m worth of shares in their own names. 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 -- own 54% of Rio2. 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:

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. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 4 warning signs with Rio2 (at least 2 which can't be ignored) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

Of course this may not be the best stock to buy. Therefore, you may wish to see our free collection of interesting prospects boasting favorable financials.

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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