What Kind Of Investor Owns Most Of Argan SA (EPA:ARG)?

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If you want to know who really controls Argan SA (EPA:ARG), then you’ll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Institutions will often hold stock in bigger companies, and we expect to see insiders owning a noticeable percentage of the smaller ones. Warren Buffett said that he likes ‘a business with enduring competitive advantages that is run by able and owner-oriented people’. So it’s nice to see some insider ownership, because it may suggest that management is owner-oriented.

Argan has a market capitalization of €835m, so we would expect some institutional investors to have noticed the stock. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it’s seems that institutional investors have bought into the company. Let’s take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about ARG.

See our latest analysis for Argan

ENXTPA:ARG Ownership Summary, February 22nd 2019
ENXTPA:ARG Ownership Summary, February 22nd 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Argan?

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.

As you can see, institutional investors own 15% of Argan. 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. When multiple institutions own a stock, there’s always a risk that they are in a ‘crowded trade’. When such a trade goes wrong, multiple parties may compete to sell stock fast. This risk is higher in a company without a history of growth. You can see Argan’s historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.

ENXTPA:ARG Income Statement, February 22nd 2019
ENXTPA:ARG Income Statement, February 22nd 2019

We note that hedge funds don’t have a meaningful investment in Argan. We’re not picking up on any analyst coverage of the stock at the moment, so the company is unlikely to be widely held.

Insider Ownership Of Argan

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. Management ultimately answers to the board. However, it is not uncommon for managers to be executive board members, especially if they are a founder or the CEO.

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.

It seems that insiders own more than half the Argan SA stock. This gives them a lot of power. Given it has a market cap of €835m, that means they have €474m worth of shares. Most would be pleased to see the board is investing alongside them. You may wish todiscover (for free) if they have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public holds a 27% stake in ARG. While this group can’t necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

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.

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.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.