Do Institutions Own The L.S. Starrett Company (NYSE:SCX) Shares?

Every investor in The L.S. Starrett Company (NYSE:SCX) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.

L.S. Starrett is a smaller company with a market capitalization of US$51m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. In the chart below below, we can see that institutions own shares in the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about SCX.

See our latest analysis for L.S. Starrett

NYSE:SCX Ownership Summary, March 6th 2019
NYSE:SCX Ownership Summary, March 6th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About L.S. Starrett?

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.

L.S. Starrett already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 41% of the company. 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. 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 L.S. Starrett’s historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.

NYSE:SCX Income Statement, March 6th 2019
NYSE:SCX Income Statement, March 6th 2019

Our data indicates that hedge funds own 5.6% of L.S. Starrett. That catches my attention because hedge funds sometimes try to influence management, or bring about changes that will create near term value for shareholders. Our information suggests that there isn’t any analyst coverage of the stock, so it is probably little known.

Insider Ownership Of L.S. Starrett

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 The L.S. Starrett Company. It has a market capitalization of just US$51m, and insiders have US$1.0m 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, with a 44% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. 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.

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 find historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.

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.

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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.