A look at the shareholders of Sparebanken Øst (OB:SPOG) 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.’
With a market capitalization of kr1.1b, Sparebanken Øst is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. In the chart below below, we can see that institutional investors have bought into the company. Let’s delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about SPOG.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Sparebanken Øst?
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.
We can see that Sparebanken Øst does have institutional investors; and they hold 20% of the stock. 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. 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 Sparebanken Øst’s historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.
We note that hedge funds don’t have a meaningful investment in Sparebanken Øst. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.
Insider Ownership Of Sparebanken Øst
The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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.
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.
We can see that insiders own shares in Sparebanken Øst. It has a market capitalization of just kr1.1b, and insiders have kr95m worth of shares, in their own names. It is good to see some investment by insiders, but I usually like to see higher insider holdings. It might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.
General Public Ownership
The general public, mostly retail investors, hold a substantial 58% stake in SPOG, suggesting it is a fairly popular stock. With this size of ownership, retail investors can collectively play a role in decisions that affect shareholder returns, such as dividend policies and the appointment of directors. They can also exercise the power to decline an acquisition or merger that may not improve profitability.
Private Company Ownership
It seems that Private Companies own 13%, of the SPOG stock. It might be worth looking deeper into this. If related parties, such as insiders, have an interest in one of these private companies, that should be disclosed in the annual report. Private companies may also have a strategic interest in the company.
It’s always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Sparebanken Øst better, we need to consider many other factors.
I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can find historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.
But ultimately it is the future, not the past, that will determine how well the owners of this business will do. Therefore we think it advisable to take a look at this free report showing whether analysts are predicting a brighter 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.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.