Do Institutions Own Axway Software SA (EPA:AXW) Shares?

A look at the shareholders of Axway Software SA (EPA:AXW) 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. Companies that used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.

Axway Software is not a large company by global standards. It has a market capitalization of €271m, which means it wouldn’t have the attention of many institutional investors. Taking a look at the our data on the ownership groups (below), it’s seems that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about AXW.

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ENXTPA:AXW Ownership Summary January 30th 19
ENXTPA:AXW Ownership Summary January 30th 19

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Axway Software?

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.

Axway Software already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 17% of the company. This suggests some credibility amongst professional investors. But we can’t rely on that fact alone, since institutions make bad investments sometimes, just like everyone does. 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 Axway Software’s historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.

ENXTPA:AXW Income Statement Export January 30th 19
ENXTPA:AXW Income Statement Export January 30th 19

We note that hedge funds don’t have a meaningful investment in Axway Software. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of Axway Software

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 less than 1% of Axway Software SA. We do note, however, it is possible insiders have an indirect interest through a private company or other corporate structure. It seems the board members have no more than €799k worth of shares in the €271m company. Many tend to prefer to see a board with bigger shareholdings. A good next step might be to take a look at this free summary of insider buying and selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 15% stake in the company, will not 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.

Private Equity Ownership

Private equity firms hold a 12% stake in AXW. This suggests they can be influential in key policy decisions. Some might like this, because private equity are sometimes activists who hold management accountable. But other times, private equity is selling out, having taking the company public.

Private Company Ownership

Our data indicates that Private Companies hold 23%, of the company’s shares. It’s hard to draw any conclusions from this fact alone, so its worth looking into who owns those private companies. Sometimes insiders or other related parties have an interest in shares in a public company through a separate private company.

Public Company Ownership

It appears to us that public companies own 33% of AXW. We can’t be certain, but this is quite possible this is a strategic stake. The businesses may be similar, or work together.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important.

Many find it useful to take an in depth look at how a company has performed in the past. You can access this detailed graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow .

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.

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.