Could The Townsquare Media, Inc. (NYSE:TSQ) Ownership Structure Tell Us Something Useful?

The big shareholder groups in Townsquare Media, Inc. (NYSE:TSQ) have power over the company. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. 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.

Townsquare Media is a smaller company with a market capitalization of US$186m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. In the chart below, we can see that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let’s delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about Townsquare Media.

View our latest analysis for Townsquare Media

NYSE:TSQ Ownership Summary, January 14th 2020
NYSE:TSQ Ownership Summary, January 14th 2020

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Townsquare Media?

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.

Townsquare Media already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 45% of the company. 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 Townsquare Media’s historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.

NYSE:TSQ Income Statement, January 14th 2020
NYSE:TSQ Income Statement, January 14th 2020

It would appear that 20% of Townsquare Media shares are controlled by hedge funds. That catches my attention because hedge funds sometimes try to influence management, or bring about changes that will create near term value for shareholders. Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. is currently the largest shareholder, with 20% of shares outstanding. MSD Capital, L.P. is the second largest shareholder with 17% of common stock, followed by The Madison Square Garden Company, holding 17% of the stock.

Additionally, we found that 3 of the top shareholders have a considerable amount of ownership in the company, via their 54% stake.

While studying institutional ownership for a company can add value to your research, it is also a good practice to research analyst recommendations to get a deeper understand of a stock’s expected performance. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of Townsquare Media

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.

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.

We can see that insiders own shares in Townsquare Media, Inc.. In their own names, insiders own US$10m worth of stock in the US$186m company. It is good to see some investment by insiders, but I usually like to see higher insider holdings. It might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.

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.

Public Company Ownership

We can see that public companies hold 17%, of the TSQ shares on issue. We can’t be certain, but this is quite possible this is a strategic stake. The businesses may be similar, or work together.

Next Steps:

I find it very interesting to look at who exactly owns a company. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. For instance, we’ve identified 3 warning signs for Townsquare Media (1 makes us a bit uncomfortable) that you should be aware of.

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.

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.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.

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