What Kind Of Investor Owns Most Of Groupon, Inc. (NASDAQ:GRPN)?

A look at the shareholders of Groupon, Inc. (NASDAQ:GRPN) can tell us which group is most powerful. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. 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.’

Groupon has a market capitalization of US$2.0b, so we would expect some institutional investors to have noticed the stock. In the chart below below, we can see that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about GRPN.

View our latest analysis for Groupon

NasdaqGS:GRPN Ownership Summary, April 11th 2019
NasdaqGS:GRPN Ownership Summary, April 11th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Groupon?

Institutional investors commonly compare their own returns to the returns of a commonly followed index. So they generally do consider buying larger companies that are included in the relevant benchmark index.

As you can see, institutional investors own 56% of Groupon. 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 Groupon, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

NasdaqGS:GRPN Income Statement, April 11th 2019
NasdaqGS:GRPN Income Statement, April 11th 2019

Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. It looks like hedge funds own 8.7% of Groupon 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. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of Groupon

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. Management ultimately answers to the board. However, it is not uncommon for managers to be executive board members, especially if they are a founder or the CEO.

Most consider insider ownership a positive because it can indicate the board is well aligned with other shareholders. However, on some occasions too much power is concentrated within this group.

Our most recent data indicates that insiders own a reasonable proportion of Groupon, Inc.. It has a market capitalization of just US$2.0b, and insiders have US$350m 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 13% stake in GRPN. 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.

Private Equity Ownership

Private equity firms hold a 5.8% stake in GRPN. This suggests they can be influential in key policy decisions. Sometimes we see private equity stick around for the long term, but generally speaking they have a shorter investment horizon and — as the name suggests — don’t invest in public companies much. After some time they may look to sell and redeploy capital elsewhere.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important.

I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can find historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.

But ultimately it is the future, not the past, that will determine how well the owners of this business will do. Therefore we think it advisable to take a look at this free report showing whether analysts are predicting a brighter future.

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.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.