What Type Of Shareholder Owns Olympic Steel, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:ZEUS)?

The big shareholder groups in Olympic Steel, Inc. (NASDAQ:ZEUS) have power over the company. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. I quite like to see at least a little bit of insider ownership. As Charlie Munger said ‘Show me the incentive and I will show you the outcome.

Olympic Steel is not a large company by global standards. It has a market capitalization of US$106m, which means it wouldn’t have the attention of many institutional investors. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it’s seems that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Olympic Steel.

View our latest analysis for Olympic Steel

NasdaqGS:ZEUS Ownership Summary March 26th 2020
NasdaqGS:ZEUS Ownership Summary March 26th 2020

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Olympic Steel?

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.

We can see that Olympic Steel does have institutional investors; and they hold 69% of the stock. This suggests some credibility amongst professional investors. But we can’t rely on that fact alone, since institutions make bad investments sometimes, just like everyone does. 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 Olympic Steel’s historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.

NasdaqGS:ZEUS Income Statement March 26th 2020
NasdaqGS:ZEUS Income Statement March 26th 2020

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 Olympic Steel. BlackRock, Inc. is currently the largest shareholder, with 15% of shares outstanding. Next, we have Michael Siegal and Dimensional Fund Advisors L.P. as the second and third largest shareholders, holding 12% and 8.4%, of the shares outstanding, respectively. Michael Siegal also happens to hold the title of Top Key Executive.

On studying the facts and figures more closely, we found that 7 of the top shareholders account for 52% of the register, implying that along with larger shareholders, there are a few smaller shareholders, thereby balancing out each others interests somewhat.

While it makes sense to study institutional ownership data for a company, it also makes sense to study analyst sentiments to know which way the wind is blowing. Our information suggests that there isn’t any analyst coverage of the stock, so it is probably little known.

Insider Ownership Of Olympic Steel

The definition of company insiders can be subjective, and does vary between jurisdictions. Our data reflects individual insiders, capturing board members at the very least. The company management answer to the board; and the latter should represent the interests of shareholders. Notably, sometimes top-level managers are on the board, themselves.

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.

It seems insiders own a significant proportion of Olympic Steel, Inc.. Insiders own US$19m worth of shares in the US$106m company. This may suggest that the founders still own a lot of shares. You can click here to see if they have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 13% 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:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Be aware that Olympic Steel is showing 3 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those makes us a bit uncomfortable…

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.

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.

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