Today, I will be analyzing Argan SA’s (EPA:ARG) recent ownership structure, an important but not-so-popular subject among individual investors. A company’s ownership structure is often linked to its share performance in both the long- and short-term. Different types of investors can have varying degrees of influence on a company’s management team. For example, an active institutional investor may be more likely to hold a company accountable for certain actions whereas a passive fund will move in and out of stocks without regards to corporate governance. The implications of these institutions’ actions can either benefit or hinder individual investors, so it is important to understand the ownership composition of your stock investment. Now I will analyze ARG’s shareholder registry in more detail.
Institutional OwnershipARG’s 12.70% 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 ARG, investors need not worry about such volatility considering active hedge funds don’t have a significant stake. However, we should dig deeper into ARG’s ownership structure and find out how other key ownership classes can affect its investment profile.
Insider OwnershipAn important group of shareholders are company insiders. Insider ownership has to do more with how the company is managed and less to do with the direct impact of the magnitude of shares trading on the market. 56.80% ownership of ARG 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). It’s also interesting to learn what ARG insiders have been doing with their shareholdings lately. While insider buying is possibly a sign of a positive outlook for the company, selling doesn’t necessarily indicate a negative outlook as they may be selling to meet personal financial needs.
General Public OwnershipA substantial ownership of 29.52% in ARG is held by the general public. With this size of ownership, retail investors can collectively play a role in major company policies that affect shareholders returns, including executive remuneration and the appointment of directors. They can also exercise the power to decline an acquisition or merger that may not improve profitability.
Private Company OwnershipAnother important group of owners for potential investors in ARG are private companies that hold a stake of 0.99% in ARG. These are companies that are mainly invested due to their strategic interests or are incentivized by reaping capital gains on investments their shareholdings. However, an ownership of this size may be relatively insignificant, meaning that these shareholders may not have the potential to influence ARG’s business strategy. Thus, investors not need worry too much about the consequences of these holdings.
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 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 focus of your research when constructing an investment thesis around ARG. Instead, you should be evaluating company-specific factors such as the intrinsic valuation, which is a key driver of Argan’s share price. I urge you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:
- Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for ARG’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for ARG’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has ARG 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 ARG’s historicals for more clarity.
- 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.