What Kind Of Shareholder Appears On The Spartan Motors, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:SPAR) Shareholder Register?

A look at the shareholders of Spartan Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPAR) can tell us which group is most powerful. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. We also tend to see lower insider ownership in companies that were previously publicly owned.

Spartan Motors is not a large company by global standards. It has a market capitalization of US$494m, which means it wouldn’t have the attention 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 SPAR.

See our latest analysis for Spartan Motors

NasdaqGS:SPAR Ownership Summary, October 15th 2019
NasdaqGS:SPAR Ownership Summary, October 15th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Spartan Motors?

Institutions typically measure themselves against a benchmark when reporting to their own investors, so they often become more enthusiastic about a stock once it’s included in a major index. We would expect most companies to have some institutions on the register, especially if they are growing.

As you can see, institutional investors own 76% of Spartan Motors. This implies the analysts working for those institutions have looked at the stock and they like it. But just like anyone else, they could be wrong. 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 Spartan Motors, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

NasdaqGS:SPAR Income Statement, October 15th 2019
NasdaqGS:SPAR Income Statement, October 15th 2019

Investors should note that institutions actually own more than half the company, so they can collectively wield significant power. We note that hedge funds don’t have a meaningful investment in Spartan Motors. There are a reasonable number of analysts covering the stock, so it might be useful to find out their aggregate view on the future.

Insider Ownership Of Spartan Motors

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.

Most consider insider ownership a positive because it can indicate the board is well aligned with other shareholders. However, on some occasions too much power is concentrated within this group.

We can see that insiders own shares in Spartan Motors, Inc.. In their own names, insiders own US$24m worth of stock in the US$494m company. Some would say this shows alignment of interests between shareholders and the board. But it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public holds a 19% stake in SPAR. While this group can’t necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

Next Steps:

I find it very interesting to look at who exactly owns a company. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too.

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.

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.

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.