Could OneSpan Inc.’s (NASDAQ:OSPN) Investor Composition Influence The Stock Price?

If you want to know who really controls OneSpan Inc. (NASDAQ:OSPN), then you’ll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. 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.’

OneSpan is not a large company by global standards. It has a market capitalization of US$523m, which means it wouldn’t have the attention of many institutional investors. In the chart below below, we can see that institutional investors have bought into the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about OSPN.

Check out our latest analysis for OneSpan

NasdaqCM:OSPN Ownership Summary January 1st 19
NasdaqCM:OSPN Ownership Summary January 1st 19

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About OneSpan?

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.

OneSpan already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 61% of the company. 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. When multiple institutions own a stock, there’s always a risk that they are in a ‘crowded trade’. When such a trade goes wrong, multiple parties may compete to sell stock fast. This risk is higher in a company without a history of growth. You can see OneSpan’s historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.

NasdaqCM:OSPN Income Statement Export January 1st 19
NasdaqCM:OSPN Income Statement Export January 1st 19

Investors should note that institutions actually own more than half the company, so they can collectively wield significant power. It would appear that 5.2% of OneSpan 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. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of OneSpan

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

Insider ownership is positive when it signals leadership are thinking like the true owners of the company. However, high insider ownership can also give immense power to a small group within the company. This can be negative in some circumstances.

Our information suggests that insiders maintain a significant holding in OneSpan Inc.. It has a market capitalization of just US$523m, and insiders have US$103m worth of shares in their own names. It is great to see insiders so invested in the business. It might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying recently.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 14% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. While this group can’t necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

Next Steps:

It’s always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand OneSpan better, we need to consider many other factors.

Many find it useful to take an in depth look at how a company has performed in the past. You can access this detailed graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow .

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.

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.