Who Are 500com Limited’s (NYSE:WBAI) Major Shareholders?

A look at the shareholders of 500com Limited (NYSE:WBAI) can tell us which group is most powerful. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. 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.’

500.com is not a large company by global standards. It has a market capitalization of US$404m, which means it wouldn’t have the attention of many institutional investors. In the chart below below, we can see that institutional investors have not yet purchased much of the company. Let’s delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about WBAI.

View our latest analysis for 500.com

NYSE:WBAI Ownership Summary October 11th 18
NYSE:WBAI Ownership Summary October 11th 18

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About 500.com?

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.

Less than 5% of 500.com is held by institutional investors. This suggests that some funds have the company in their sights, but many have not yet bought shares in it. If the company is growing earnings, that may indicate that it is just beginning to catch the attention of these deep-pocketed investors. It is not uncommon to see a big share price rise if multiple institutional investors are trying to buy into a stock at the same time. So check out the historic earnings trajectory, below, but keep in mind it’s the future that counts most.

NYSE:WBAI Income Statement Export October 11th 18
NYSE:WBAI Income Statement Export October 11th 18

500.com is not owned by hedge funds. As far I can tell there isn’t analyst coverage of the company, so it is probably flying under the radar.

Insider Ownership Of 500.com

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

I generally consider insider ownership to be a good thing. However, on some occasions it makes it more difficult for other shareholders to hold the board accountable for decisions.

Our information suggests that insiders maintain a significant holding in 500com Limited. It has a market capitalization of just US$404m, and insiders have US$74m worth of shares in their own names. It is great to see insiders so invested in the business. It might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying recently.

General Public Ownership

With a 39% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over WBAI. While this group can’t necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

Private Equity Ownership

With an ownership of 8.3%, private equity firms are in a position to play a role in shaping corporate strategy with a focus on value creation. Sometimes we see private equity stick around for the long term, but generally speaking they have a shorter investment horizon and — as the name suggests — don’t invest in public companies much. After some time they may look to sell and redeploy capital elsewhere.

Private Company Ownership

We can see that Private Companies own 31%, of the shares on issue. 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.

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 find historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.

Of course this may not be the best stock to buy. Therefore, you may wish to see our free collection of interesting prospects boasting favorable financials.

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.