Do Insiders Own Lots Of Shares In Aehr Test Systems (NASDAQ:AEHR)?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
October 12, 2019
NasdaqCM:AEHR

A look at the shareholders of Aehr Test Systems (NASDAQ:AEHR) 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. 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.

Aehr Test Systems is a smaller company with a market capitalization of US$40m, 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's seems that institutions own shares in the company. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about AEHR.

See our latest analysis for Aehr Test Systems

NasdaqCM:AEHR Ownership Summary, October 12th 2019
NasdaqCM:AEHR Ownership Summary, October 12th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Aehr Test Systems?

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 Aehr Test Systems does have institutional investors; and they hold 18% of the stock. This implies the analysts working for those institutions have looked at the stock and they like it. But just like anyone else, they could be wrong. 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 Aehr Test Systems, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

NasdaqCM:AEHR Income Statement, October 12th 2019
NasdaqCM:AEHR Income Statement, October 12th 2019

It would appear that 8.4% of Aehr Test Systems 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. There is a little analyst coverage of the stock, but not much. So there is room for it to gain more coverage.

Insider Ownership Of Aehr Test Systems

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. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

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 Aehr Test Systems. Insiders have a US$4.3m stake in this US$40m business. I would say this shows alignment with shareholders, but it is worth noting that the company is still quite small; some insiders may have founded the business. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, who are mostly retail investors, collectively hold 62% of Aehr Test Systems shares. This size of ownership gives retail investors collective power. They can and probably do influence decisions on executive compensation, dividend policies and proposed business acquisitions.

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 access this interactive graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow, for free.

If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its 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.

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