Should You Be Concerned About 500com Limited’s (NYSE:WBAI) Investors?

In this analysis, my focus will be on developing a perspective on 500com Limited’s (NYSE:WBAI) latest ownership structure, a less discussed, but important factor. Ownership structure has been found to have an impact on shareholder returns in both short- and long-term. Differences in ownership structure of companies can have a profound effect on how management’s incentives are aligned with shareholder returns, and whether they adhere to corporate governance best practices. Although this is an important factor for long-term investors, many investors can also be impacted by institutional presence and their high-volume trading. Now I will analyze WBAI’s shareholder registry in more detail.

Check out our latest analysis for 500.com
NYSE:WBAI Ownership_summary Mar 12th 18
NYSE:WBAI Ownership_summary Mar 12th 18

Institutional Ownership

Institutional investors transact in large blocks which can influence the momentum of stock prices, at least in the short-term, especially when there is a low level of public shares available on the market to trade. A low institutional ownership of 3.28% puts WBAI on a list of companies that are not likely exposed to spikes in volatility resulting from institutional trading.

Insider Ownership

I find insiders are another important group of stakeholders, who are directly involved in making key decisions related to the use of capital. In essence, insider ownership is more about the alignment of shareholders’ interests with the management. WBAI insiders hold a significant stake of 18.93% in the company. This level of insider ownership has been found to have a negative impact on companies with consistently low PE ratios (underperformers), while it has been positive in the case of high PE ratio firms (outperformers). It’s also interesting to learn what WBAI insiders have been doing with their shareholdings lately. While insider buying is possibly a sign of a positive outlook for the company, selling doesn’t necessarily indicate a negative outlook as they may be selling to meet personal financial needs.
NYSE:WBAI Insider_trading Mar 12th 18
NYSE:WBAI Insider_trading Mar 12th 18

General Public Ownership

The general public holds a substantial 39.34% stake in WBAI, making it a highly popular stock among retail investors. With this size of ownership, retail investors can collectively play a role in major company policies that affect shareholders returns, including executive remuneration 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

With an ownership of 8.59%, private equity firms are a major stakeholder in WBAI and are in a position to play an important role in shaping up corporate strategy with a focus on value creation. This is an encouraging sign for investors as these investors tend to be active strategist in companies, focusing on increasing operational and capital efficiency for the firm.

Private Company Ownership

Potential investors in WBAI should also look at another important group of investors: private companies, with a stake of 29.86%, who are primarily invested because of strategic and capital gain interests. This kind of ownership, if predominantly strategic, can give these companies a significant power to affect WBAI’s business strategy. Thus, potential investors should look into these business relations and check how it can impact long-term shareholder returns.

Next Steps:

Institutional ownership level and composition in WBAI is not high nor active enough to significantly impact its investment thesis. However, if you are building an investment case for WBAI, ownership structure alone should not dictate your decision to buy or sell the stock. Rather, you should be examining fundamental factors such as the intrinsic valuation, which is a key driver of 500.com’s share price. I highly recommend you to complete your research by taking a look at the areas below. Just a heads up – to access some parts of the Simply Wall St research tool you might be asked to create a free account, but it takes just one click and the information they provide is definitely worth it in my opinion.

  • 1. Financial Health: Is WBAI’s operations financially sustainable? Balance sheets can be hard to analyze, which is why Simply Wall St does it for us. Check out important financial health checks here.
  • 2. Past Track Record: Has WBAI been consistently performing well irrespective of the ups and downs in the market? Go into more detail in the past performance analysis and take a look at the free visual representations of WBAI’s historicals for more clarity.
  • 3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore a free list of these great stocks here.
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.