Why Evolving Systems Inc’s (NASDAQ:EVOL) Investor Composition Impacts Your Returns

In this article, I’m going to take a look at Evolving Systems Inc’s (NASDAQ:EVOL) latest ownership structure, a non-fundamental factor which is important, but remains a less discussed subject among investors. Ownership structure has been found to have an impact on shareholder returns in both short- and long-term. The effect of an active institutional investor with a similar ownership as a passive pension-fund can be vastly different on a company’s corporate governance and accountability to shareholders. While this may be more interesting for long-term investors, short-term investors can also benefit by paying attention to when these institutions trade in order to take advantage of the heightened volatility. Therefore, it is beneficial for us to examine EVOL’s ownership structure in more detail.

Check out our latest analysis for Evolving Systems

NasdaqCM:EVOL Ownership Summary August 21st 18
NasdaqCM:EVOL Ownership Summary August 21st 18

Institutional Ownership

In EVOL’s case, institutional ownership stands at 48.58%, significant enough to cause considerable price moves in the case of large institutional transactions, especially when there is a low level of public shares available on the market to trade. These moves, at least in the short-term, are generally observed in an institutional ownership mix comprising of active stock pickers, in particular levered hedge funds, which can cause large price swings. For shareholders in EVOL, sharp price movements may not be a major concern as active hedge funds hold a relatively small stake in the company. Although this doesn’t necessarily lead to high short-term volatility, we should dig deeper into EVOL’s ownership structure to find how the remaining owner types can affect its investment profile.

Insider Ownership

Insiders form a group of important ownership types as they manage the company’s operations and decide the best use of capital. Insider ownership has been linked to better alignment between management and shareholders. 32.58% ownership of EVOL insiders is large enough to make an impact on shareholder returns. In general, this level of insider ownership has negatively affected underperforming (consistently low PE ratio) companies and positively affected the companies that outperform (consistently high PE ratio). It’s also interesting to learn what EVOL insiders have been doing with their shareholdings lately. While insider buying is possibly a sign of a positive outlook for the company, selling doesn’t necessarily indicate a negative outlook as they may be selling to meet personal financial needs.

General Public Ownership

A big stake of 18.84% in EVOL is held by the general public. With this size of ownership, retail investors can collectively play a role in major company policies that affect shareholders returns, including executive remuneration and the appointment of directors. They can also exercise the power to decline an acquisition or merger that may not improve profitability.

Next Steps:

The company’s high institutional ownership makes margin of safety a very important consideration to existing investors since long bull and bear trends often emerge when these big-ticket investors see a change in long-term potential of the company. This will allow investors to reduce the impact of non-fundamental factors, such as volatile block trading impact on their portfolio value. However, ownership structure should not be the only determining factor when you’re building an investment thesis for EVOL. Instead, you should be evaluating company-specific factors such as Evolving Systems’s past track record and financial health. I urge you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for EVOL’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for EVOL’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has EVOL been consistently performing well irrespective of the ups and downs in the market? Go into more detail in the past performance analysis and take a look at the free visual representations of EVOL’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.

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.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.