Do Insiders Own Shares In CEI Limited (SGX:AVV)?

The big shareholder groups in CEI Limited (SGX:AVV) have power over the company. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. Warren Buffett said that he likes ‘a business with enduring competitive advantages that is run by able and owner-oriented people’. So it’s nice to see some insider ownership, because it may suggest that management is owner-oriented.

With a market capitalization of S$74m, CEI 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 institutions don’t own shares in the company. Let’s take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about AVV.

See our latest analysis for CEI

SGX:AVV Ownership Summary November 22nd 18
SGX:AVV Ownership Summary November 22nd 18

What Does The Lack Of Institutional Ownership Tell Us About CEI?

Small companies that are not very actively traded often lack institutional investors, but it’s less common to see large companies without them.

There could be various reasons why no institutions own shares in a company. Typically, small, newly listed companies don’t attract much attention from fund managers, because it would not be possible for large fund managers to build a meaningful position in the company. It is also possible that fund managers don’t own the stock because they aren’t convinced it will perform well. CEI might not have the sort of past performance institutions are looking for, or perhaps they simply have not studied the business closely.

SGX:AVV Income Statement Export November 22nd 18
SGX:AVV Income Statement Export November 22nd 18

We note that hedge funds don’t have a meaningful investment in CEI. We’re not picking up on any analyst coverage of the stock at the moment, so the company is unlikely to be widely held.

Insider Ownership Of CEI

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. The company management answer to the board; and the latter should represent the interests of shareholders. Notably, sometimes top-level managers are on the board, themselves.

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.

Our information suggests that insiders maintain a significant holding in CEI Limited. Insiders have a S$19m stake in this S$74m business. I would say this shows alignment with shareholders, but it is worth noting that the company is still quite small; some insiders may have founded the business. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, mostly retail investors, hold a substantial 56% stake in AVV, 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 Equity Ownership

Private equity firms hold a 9.0% stake in AVV. This suggests they can be influential in key policy decisions. Some investors might be encouraged by this, since private equity are sometimes able to encourage strategies that help the market see the value in the company. Alternatively, those holders might be exiting the investment after taking it public.

Private Company Ownership

We can see that Private Companies own 9.0%, of the shares on issue. 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.

Next Steps:

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

I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can access this interactive graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow for free .

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies.

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.