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Should You Be Concerned About American Realty Investors Inc’s (NYSE:ARL) Investors?

Frank Brewer

Today, I will be analyzing American Realty Investors Inc’s (NYSE:ARL) recent ownership structure, an important but not-so-popular subject among individual investors. Ownership structure has been found to have an impact on shareholder returns in both short- and long-term. Since the same amount of capital coming from an activist institution and a passive mutual fund has different implications on corporate governance, it is a useful exercise to deconstruct ARL’s shareholder registry.

Check out our latest analysis for American Realty Investors

NYSE:ARL Ownership_summary Mar 14th 18
NYSE:ARL Ownership_summary Mar 14th 18

Institutional Ownership

Institutions account for 11.27% of ARL’s outstanding shares, a significant enough holding to move stock prices if they start buying and selling in large quantities, especially when there are relatively small amounts of shares available on the market to trade. However, as not all institutions are alike, such high volatility events, especially in the short-term, have been more frequently linked to active market participants like hedge funds. For ARL shareholders, the potential of this type of share price volatility shouldn’t be as concerning as hedge fund ownership is is not significant,indicating few chances of such sudden price moves. While that hardly seems concerning, I will explore further into ARL’s ownership type to find out how it can affect the company’s investment profile.

Insider Ownership

Another important group of shareholders are company insiders. Insider ownership has to do more with how the company is managed and less to do with the direct impact of the magnitude of shares trading on the market. ARL insiders hold a minor stake in the company, which somewhat aligns their interests with that of shareholders. However, a higher level of insider ownership has been linked to management executing on high-returning projects instead of expansion projects for the sake of apparent growth. In addition to this, it may be interesting to look at insider buying and selling activities. Keep in mind that buying may be sign of upbeat future expectations, but selling doesn’t necessarily mean the opposite as the insiders might just be doing it out of their personal financial needs.

General Public Ownership

A big stake of 11.19% in ARL is held by the general public. This size of ownership gives retail investors collective power in deciding on major policy decisions such as executive compensation, appointment of directors and acquisitions of businesses. This level of ownership gives retail investors the power to sway key policy decisions such as board composition, executive compensation, and potential acquisitions. This is a positive sign for an investor who wants to be involved in key decision-making of the company.

Private Company Ownership

Another group of owners that a potential investor in ARL should consider are private companies, with a stake of 77.33%. While they invest more often due to strategic interests, an investment can also be driven by capital gains through share price appreciation. This kind of ownership, if predominantly strategic, can give these companies a significant power to affect ARL’s business strategy. Thus, potential investors should look into these business relations and check how it can impact long-term shareholder returns.

Next Steps:

ARL’s considerably high level of institutional ownership calls for further analysis into its margin of safety. This is to avoid getting trapped in a sustained sell-off that is often observed in stocks with this level of institutional participation. However, ownership structure should not be the only focus of your research when constructing an investment thesis around ARL. Rather, you should be examining fundamental factors such as the intrinsic valuation, which is a key driver of American Realty Investors’s share price. I highly recommend you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

  • 1. Financial Health: Is ARL’s operations financially sustainable? Balance sheets can be hard to analyze, which is why we’ve done it for you. Check out our financial health checks here.

  • 2. Past Track Record: Has ARL 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 ARL’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 pass 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.