Stock Analysis

Do Insiders Own Lots Of Shares In Lee Enterprises, Incorporated (NYSE:LEE)?

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NasdaqGS:LEE
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The big shareholder groups in Lee Enterprises, Incorporated (NYSE:LEE) have power over the company. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. Warren Buffett said that he likes "a business with enduring competitive advantages that is run by able and owner-oriented people." So it's nice to see some insider ownership, because it may suggest that management is owner-oriented.

Lee Enterprises is a smaller company with a market capitalization of US$109m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it seems that institutional investors have bought into the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Lee Enterprises.

View our latest analysis for Lee Enterprises

ownership-breakdown
NYSE:LEE Ownership Breakdown February 5th 2021

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Lee Enterprises?

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.

Lee Enterprises already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. This can indicate that the company has a certain degree of credibility in the investment community. However, it is best to be wary of relying on the supposed validation that comes with institutional investors. They too, get it wrong sometimes. It is not uncommon to see a big share price drop if two large institutional investors try to sell out of a stock at the same time. So it is worth checking the past earnings trajectory of Lee Enterprises, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
NYSE:LEE Earnings and Revenue Growth February 5th 2021

It looks like hedge funds own 15% of Lee Enterprises shares. That's interesting, because hedge funds can be quite active and activist. Many look for medium term catalysts that will drive the share price higher. Our data shows that Cannell Capital LLC is the largest shareholder with 7.8% of shares outstanding. Alden Global Capital LLC is the second largest shareholder owning 7.0% of common stock, and Brent Baird holds about 6.0% of the company stock. Furthermore, CEO Kevin Mowbray is the owner of 1.6% of the company's shares.

After doing some more digging, we found that the top 18 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. Our information suggests that there isn't any analyst coverage of the stock, so it is probably little known.

Insider Ownership Of Lee Enterprises

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. 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.

Our information suggests that insiders maintain a significant holding in Lee Enterprises, Incorporated. Insiders own US$17m worth of shares in the US$109m 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 42% 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:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Lee Enterprises better, we need to consider many other factors. Case in point: We've spotted 4 warning signs for Lee Enterprises you should be aware of, and 3 of them can't be ignored.

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.

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