A look at the shareholders of Esker SA (EPA:ALESK) can tell us which group is most powerful. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it's not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of smaller companies. I generally like to see some degree of insider ownership, even if only a little. As Nassim Nicholas Taleb said, 'Don’t tell me what you think, tell me what you have in your portfolio.
Esker has a market capitalization of €1.2b, so we would expect some institutional investors to have noticed the stock. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Esker.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Esker?
Institutional investors commonly compare their own returns to the returns of a commonly followed index. So they generally do consider buying larger companies that are included in the relevant benchmark index.
As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in Esker. This can indicate that the company has a certain degree of credibility in the investment community. However, it is best to be wary of relying on the supposed validation that comes with institutional investors. They too, get it wrong sometimes. 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 Esker, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.
Esker is not owned by hedge funds. Our data suggests that Jean-Michel Berard, who is also the company's Chairman of Management Board, holds the most number of shares at 6.7%. When an insider holds a sizeable amount of a company's stock, investors consider it as a positive sign because it suggests that insiders are willing to have their wealth tied up in the future of the company. Premier Fund Managers Limited is the second largest shareholder owning 4.2% of common stock, and Brown Capital Management, LLC holds about 3.8% of the company stock. In addition, we found that Emmanuel Olivier, the CEO has 1.1% of the shares allocated to their name.
Our studies suggest that the top 25 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. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.
Insider Ownership Of Esker
The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.
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.
Our most recent data indicates that insiders own some shares in Esker SA. It is a pretty big company, so it is generally a positive to see some potentially meaningful alignment. In this case, they own around €98m worth of shares (at current prices). It is good to see this level of investment by insiders. You can check here to see if those insiders have been buying recently.
General Public Ownership
The general public-- including retail investors -- own 48% stake in the company, and hence can't easily be ignored. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Take risks for example - Esker has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.
If you would prefer discover what analysts are predicting in terms of future growth, do not miss this free report on analyst forecasts.
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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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.