The big shareholder groups in Momo Inc. (NASDAQ:MOMO) have power over the company. Institutions will often hold stock in bigger companies, and we expect to see insiders owning a noticeable percentage of the smaller ones. 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.
Momo is a pretty big company. It has a market capitalization of US$3.1b. Normally institutions would own a significant portion of a company this size. In the chart below, we can see that institutions own shares in the company. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about Momo.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Momo?
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.
As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in Momo. 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 Momo's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.
It looks like hedge funds own 6.8% of Momo shares. That worth noting, since hedge funds are often quite active investors, who may try to influence management. Many want to see value creation (and a higher share price) in the short term or medium term. Because actions speak louder than words, we consider it a good sign when insiders own a significant stake in a company. In Momo's case, its Top Key Executive, Yan Tang, is the largest shareholder, holding 20% of shares outstanding. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 6.8% and 3.7% of the stock.
After doing some more digging, we found that the top 12 have the combined ownership of 50% in the company, suggesting that no single shareholder has significant control over the company.
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. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.
Insider Ownership Of Momo
The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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 Momo Inc.. It has a market capitalization of just US$3.1b, and insiders have US$733m worth of shares in their own names. That's quite significant. Most would say this shows a good degree of alignment with shareholders, especially in a company of this size. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.
General Public Ownership
The general public holds a 20% stake in Momo. 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.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for Momo you should know about.
Ultimately the future is most important. You can access this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.
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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