Should You Be Concerned About Northland Power Inc’s (TSE:NPI) Shareholders?

In this article, I will take a quick look at Northland Power Inc’s (TSE:NPI) recent ownership structure – an unconventional investing subject, but an important one. Ownership structure has been found to have an impact on shareholder returns in both short- and long-term. The effect of an active institutional investor with a similar ownership as a passive pension-fund can be vastly different on a company’s corporate governance and accountability to shareholders. While this may be more interesting for long-term investors, short-term investors can also benefit by paying attention to when these institutions trade in order to take advantage of the heightened volatility. Therefore, I will take a look at NPI’s shareholders in more detail.

See our latest analysis for Northland Power

TSX:NPI Ownership Summary August 9th 18
TSX:NPI Ownership Summary August 9th 18

Institutional Ownership

NPI’s 27.96% institutional ownership seems enough to cause large share price movements in the case of significant share sell-off or acquisitions by institutions, particularly when there is a low level of public shares available on the market to trade. These moves, at least in the short-term, are generally observed in an institutional ownership mix comprising of active stock pickers, in particular levered hedge funds, which can cause large price swings. In the case of NPI, investors need not worry about such volatility considering active hedge funds don’t have a significant stake. However, we should dig deeper into NPI’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. 34.32% ownership of NPI insiders is large enough to make an impact on shareholder returns. In general, this level of insider ownership has negatively affected underperforming (consistently low PE ratio) companies and positively affected the companies that outperform (consistently high PE ratio). Another aspect of insider ownership is to learn about their recent transactions. Insider buying may be a sign of upbeat future expectations, however, selling doesn’t necessarily mean the opposite as insiders may be motivated by their personal financial needs.

General Public Ownership

The general public holds a substantial 37.72% stake in NPI, making it a highly popular stock among retail investors. 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.

Next Steps:

The company’s high institutional ownership makes margin of safety a very important consideration to existing investors since long bull and bear trends often emerge when these big-ticket investors see a change in long-term potential of the company. This will enable shareholders to comfortably invest in the company while 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 focus of your research when constructing an investment thesis around NPI. Instead, you should be evaluating company-specific factors such as Northland Power’s past track record and financial health. I highly recommend you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for NPI’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for NPI’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has NPI 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 NPI’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.

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.