Can We See Significant Insider Ownership On The Water Intelligence plc (LON:WATR) Share Register?

Every investor in Water Intelligence plc (LON:WATR) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. 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.’

Water Intelligence is a smaller company with a market capitalization of UK£40m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. In the chart below below, we can see 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 WATR.

View our latest analysis for Water Intelligence

AIM:WATR Ownership Summary, April 15th 2019
AIM:WATR Ownership Summary, April 15th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Water Intelligence?

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 own 37% of Water Intelligence. 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. If multiple institutions change their view on a stock at the same time, you could see the share price drop fast. It’s therefore worth looking at Water Intelligence’s earnings history, below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

AIM:WATR Income Statement, April 15th 2019
AIM:WATR Income Statement, April 15th 2019

Water Intelligence is not owned by hedge funds. There is some analyst coverage of the stock, but it could still become more well known, with time.

Insider Ownership Of Water Intelligence

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.

Insider ownership is positive when it signals leadership are thinking like the true owners of the company. However, high insider ownership can also give immense power to a small group within the company. This can be negative in some circumstances.

It seems insiders own a significant proportion of Water Intelligence plc. It has a market capitalization of just UK£40m, and insiders have UK£11m worth of shares in their own names. This may suggest that the founders still own a lot of shares. You can click here to see if they have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

With a 12% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over WATR. This size of ownership, while considerable, may not be enough to change company policy if the decision is not in sync with other large shareholders.

Private Equity Ownership

Private equity firms hold a 5.9% stake in WATR. 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 18%, of the company’s shares. Private companies may be related parties. Sometimes insiders have an interest in a public company through a holding in a private company, rather than in their own capacity as an individual. While it’s hard to draw any broad stroke conclusions, it is worth noting as an area for further research.

Next Steps:

It’s always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Water Intelligence better, we need to consider many other factors.

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 are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its future.

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.