What Kind Of Shareholders Hold The Majority In DocuSign, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:DOCU) Shares?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
March 03, 2021
NasdaqGS:DOCU

Every investor in DocuSign, Inc. (NASDAQ:DOCU) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.

DocuSign is a pretty big company. It has a market capitalization of US$46b. Normally institutions would own a significant portion of a company this size. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it seems that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about DocuSign.

See our latest analysis for DocuSign

ownership-breakdown
NasdaqGS:DOCU Ownership Breakdown March 3rd 2021

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About DocuSign?

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.

DocuSign 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. 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 DocuSign, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
NasdaqGS:DOCU Earnings and Revenue Growth March 3rd 2021

Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. DocuSign is not owned by hedge funds. The Vanguard Group, Inc. is currently the largest shareholder, with 8.5% of shares outstanding. Meanwhile, the second and third largest shareholders, hold 6.3% and 5.2%, of the shares outstanding, respectively. Additionally, the company's CEO Daniel Springer directly holds 0.8% of the total shares outstanding.

On studying our ownership data, we found that 25 of the top shareholders collectively own less than 50% of the share register, implying that no single individual has a majority interest.

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. There are a reasonable number of analysts covering the stock, so it might be useful to find out their aggregate view on the future.

Insider Ownership Of DocuSign

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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.

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.

I can report that insiders do own shares in DocuSign, Inc.. It is a very large company, and board members collectively own US$758m worth of shares (at current prices). Most would say this shows a good alignment of interests between shareholders and the board. Still, it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.

General Public Ownership

With a 24% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over DocuSign. 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:

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. To that end, you should be aware of the 1 warning sign we've spotted with DocuSign .

If you would prefer discover what analysts are predicting in terms of future growth, do not miss this free report on analyst forecasts.

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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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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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