Who Really Owns UpSnap Inc (CNSX:UP)?

In this analysis, my focus will be on developing a perspective on UpSnap Inc’s (CNSX:UP) latest ownership structure, a less discussed, but important factor. Ownership structure has been found to have an impact on shareholder returns in both short- and long-term. The same amount of capital coming from an activist institution and a passive mutual fund has different implications on corporate governance, which is a decisive factor for a long-term investor. It also impacts the trading environment of company shares, which is more of a concern for short-term investors. Therefore, I will take a look at UP’s shareholders in more detail.

See our latest analysis for UpSnap
CNSX:UP Ownership_summary July 13th 18
CNSX:UP Ownership_summary July 13th 18

Institutional Ownership

In UP’s case, institutional ownership stands at 30.57%, significant enough to cause considerable price moves in the case of large institutional transactions, especially when there is a low level of public shares available on the market to trade. However, as not all institutions are alike, such high volatility events, especially in the short-term, have been more frequently linked to active market participants like hedge funds. In the case of UP, investors need not worry about such volatility considering active hedge funds don’t have a significant stake. However, we should dig deeper into UP’s ownership structure and find out how other key ownership classes can affect its investment profile.

Insider Ownership

I find insiders are an important group of stakeholders, who are directly involved in making key decisions related to the use of capital. In essence, insider ownership is more about the alignment of shareholders’ interests with the management. UP insiders hold a minor stake in the company, which somewhat aligns their interests with that of shareholders. However, a higher level of insider ownership has been linked to management executing on high-returning projects instead of expansion projects for the sake of apparent growth. In addition to this, it may be interesting to look at insider buying and selling activities. Keep in mind that buying may be sign of upbeat future expectations, but selling doesn’t necessarily mean the opposite as the insiders might just be doing it out of their personal financial needs.
CNSX:UP Insider_trading July 13th 18
CNSX:UP Insider_trading July 13th 18

General Public Ownership

A substantial ownership of 19.26% in UP is held by the general public. This size of ownership gives retail investors collective power in deciding on major policy decisions such as executive compensation, appointment of directors and acquisitions of businesses.

Private Company Ownership

Potential investors in UP should also look at another important group of investors: private companies, with a stake of 49.88%, who are primarily invested because of strategic and capital gain interests. With this size of ownership in UP, this ownership class can affect the company’s business strategy. As a result, potential investors should further explore the company’s business relations with these companies and find out if they can affect shareholder returns in the long-term.

Next Steps:

UP’s considerably high level of institutional ownership calls for further analysis into its margin of safety. This is to avoid getting trapped in a sustained sell-off that is often observed in stocks with this level of institutional participation. However, ownership structure should not be the only determining factor when you’re building an investment thesis for UP. Rather, you should be looking at fundamental drivers such as the intrinsic valuation, which is a key driver of UpSnap’s share price. I urge you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Financial Health: Is UP’s operations financially sustainable? Balance sheets can be hard to analyze, which is why we’ve done it for you. Check out our financial health checks here.
  2. Past Track Record: Has UP been consistently performing well irrespective of the ups and downs in the market? Go into more detail in the past performance analysis and take a look at the free visual representations of UP’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.
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.