What Type Of Shareholder Owns PFSweb, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:PFSW)?

A look at the shareholders of PFSweb, Inc. (NASDAQ:PFSW) can tell us which group is most powerful. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. Companies that used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.

PFSweb is a smaller company with a market capitalization of US$119m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. In the chart below below, we can see that institutions own shares in the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about PFSW.

View our latest analysis for PFSweb

NasdaqCM:PFSW Ownership Summary January 8th 19
NasdaqCM:PFSW Ownership Summary January 8th 19

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About PFSweb?

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.

PFSweb already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 52% of 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. 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 PFSweb’s historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.

NasdaqCM:PFSW Income Statement Export January 8th 19
NasdaqCM:PFSW Income Statement Export January 8th 19

Institutional investors own over 50% of the company, so together than can probably strongly influence board decisions. It would appear that 12% of PFSweb shares are controlled by hedge funds. That’s interesting, because hedge funds can be quite active and activist. Many look for medium term catalysts that will drive the share price higher. 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 PFSweb

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.

I can report that insiders do own shares in PFSweb, Inc.. In their own names, insiders own US$3.1m worth of stock in the US$119m company. It is good to see some investment by insiders, but I usually like to see higher insider holdings. It might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.

General Public Ownership

The general public holds a 10% stake in PFSW. While this group can’t necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

Private Equity Ownership

Private equity firms hold a 5.2% stake in PFSW. This suggests they can be influential in key policy decisions. Some might like this, because private equity are sometimes activists who hold management accountable. But other times, private equity is selling out, having taking the company public.

Public Company Ownership

We can see that public companies hold 19%, of the PFSW shares on issue. This may be a strategic interest and the two companies may have related business interests. It could be that they have de-merged. This holding is probably worth investigating further.

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.

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 .

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.

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.