After losing 18% in the past year, AppFolio, Inc. (NASDAQ:APPF) institutional owners must be relieved by the recent gain

September 11, 2022
  •  Updated
November 23, 2022
NasdaqGM:APPF
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If you want to know who really controls AppFolio, Inc. (NASDAQ:APPF), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. And the group that holds the biggest piece of the pie are institutions with 40% ownership. In other words, the group stands to gain the most (or lose the most) from their investment into the company.

Last week's US$148m market cap gain would probably be appreciated by institutional investors, especially after a year of 18% losses.

In the chart below, we zoom in on the different ownership groups of AppFolio.

Before we look at the ownership breakdown, you might like to know that our analysis indicates that APPF is potentially overvalued!

ownership-breakdown
NasdaqGM:APPF Ownership Breakdown September 11th 2022

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About AppFolio?

Many institutions measure their performance against an index that approximates the local market. So they usually pay more attention to companies that are included in major indices.

AppFolio already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in 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. If multiple institutions change their view on a stock at the same time, you could see the share price drop fast. It's therefore worth looking at AppFolio's earnings history below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
NasdaqGM:APPF Earnings and Revenue Growth September 11th 2022

It would appear that 5.6% of AppFolio 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. Maurice Duca is currently the largest shareholder, with 20% of shares outstanding. Meanwhile, the second and third largest shareholders, hold 12% and 9.1%, of the shares outstanding, respectively. Klaus Schauser, who is the second-largest shareholder, also happens to hold the title of Top Key Executive.

Our research also brought to light the fact that roughly 51% of the company is controlled by the top 5 shareholders suggesting that these owners wield significant influence on the business.

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. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of AppFolio

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. 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.

I generally consider insider ownership to be a good thing. However, on some occasions it makes it more difficult for other shareholders to hold the board accountable for decisions.

Our most recent data indicates that insiders own a reasonable proportion of AppFolio, Inc.. It has a market capitalization of just US$3.5b, and insiders have US$1.4b worth of shares in their own names. That's quite significant. Most would be pleased to see the board is investing alongside them. You may wish to access this free chart showing recent trading by insiders.

General Public Ownership

The general public-- including retail investors -- own 14% stake in the company, and hence can't easily be ignored. While this size of ownership may not be enough to sway a policy decision in their favour, they can still make a collective impact on company policies.

Next Steps:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand AppFolio better, we need to consider many other factors. For example, we've discovered 1 warning sign for AppFolio that you should be aware of before investing here.

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.

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