Should You Be Concerned About Barnwell Industries Inc’s (NYSEMKT:BRN) Shareholders?

Today, I will be analyzing Barnwell Industries Inc’s (AMEX:BRN) recent ownership structure, an important but not-so-popular subject among individual investors. Ownership structure of a company has been found to affect share performance over time. 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. Therefore, I will take a look at BRN’s shareholders in more detail.

Check out our latest analysis for Barnwell Industries
AMEX:BRN Ownership_summary Jun 7th 18
AMEX:BRN Ownership_summary Jun 7th 18

Institutional Ownership

With an institutional ownership of 10.79%, BRN can face volatile stock price movements if institutions execute block trades on the open market, more so, when there are relatively small amounts of shares available on the market to trade However, as not all institutions are alike, such high volatility events, especially in the short-term, have been more frequently linked to active market participants like hedge funds. Hedge funds, considered active investors, hold a 7.19% stake in the company, which may be the cause of high short-term volatility in the stock price. We should dig deeper into the company’s ownership structure to find how the rest of its ownership structure can impact its investment case.

Insider Ownership

Insiders form another group of important ownership types as they manage the company’s operations and decide the best use of capital. Insider ownership has been linked to better alignment between management and shareholders. A major group of owners of BRN is individual insiders, sitting with a hefty 40.85% stake in the company. Broadly, insider ownership of this level has been found to negatively affect companies with consistently low PE ratio (underperforming). And a positive impact has been seen on companies with a high PE ratio (outperforming). Another aspect of insider ownership is to learn about their recent transactions. Insider buying may be a sign of upbeat future expectations, however, selling doesn’t necessarily mean the opposite as insiders may be motivated by their personal financial needs.
AMEX:BRN Insider_trading Jun 7th 18
AMEX:BRN Insider_trading Jun 7th 18

General Public Ownership

The general public holds a substantial 30.97% stake in BRN, 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 Company Ownership

Another group of owners that a potential investor in BRN should consider are private companies, with a stake of 10.20%. While they invest more often due to strategic interests, an investment can also be driven by capital gains through share price appreciation. With this size of ownership in BRN, this ownership class can affect the company’s business strategy. As a result, potential investors should further explore the company’s business relations with these companies and find out if they can affect shareholder returns in the long-term.

Next Steps:

I suggest investors seek some degree of margin of safety due to high institutional ownership in BRN, in particular due to the strong presence of active hedge fund investors. This will allow an investor to reduce the impact of non-fundamental factors, such as volatile block trading impact on their portfolio value. However, ownership structure should not be the only focus of your research when constructing an investment thesis around BRN. Rather, you should be looking at fundamental drivers such as Barnwell Industries’s past track record and financial health. I urge you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Financial Health: Is BRN’s operations financially sustainable? Balance sheets can be hard to analyze, which is why we’ve done it for you. Check out our financial health checks here.
  2. Past Track Record: Has BRN 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 BRN’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our 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.