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Could The 360 Finance, Inc. (NASDAQ:QFIN) Ownership Structure Tell Us Something Useful?

Simply Wall St

A look at the shareholders of 360 Finance, Inc. (NASDAQ:QFIN) can tell us which group is most powerful. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it's not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of 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.'

With a market capitalization of US$1.4b, 360 Finance is a decent size, so it is probably on the radar of institutional investors. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it's seems that institutions own shares in the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about QFIN.

See our latest analysis for 360 Finance

NasdaqGM:QFIN Ownership Summary, September 11th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About 360 Finance?

Institutional investors commonly compare their own returns to the returns of a commonly followed index. So they generally do consider buying larger companies that are included in the relevant benchmark index.

360 Finance already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 10% of the company. This implies the analysts working for those institutions have looked at the stock and they like it. But just like anyone else, they could be wrong. 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 360 Finance, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

NasdaqGM:QFIN Income Statement, September 11th 2019

Hedge funds don't have many shares in 360 Finance. There is some analyst coverage of the stock, but it could still become more well known, with time.

Insider Ownership Of 360 Finance

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 most recent data indicates that insiders own some shares in 360 Finance, Inc.. It is a pretty big company, so it is generally a positive to see some potentially meaningful alignment. In this case, they own around US$75m worth of shares (at current prices). Most would say this shows alignment of interests between shareholders and the board. Still, it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 12% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. This size of ownership, while considerable, may not be enough to change company policy if the decision is not in sync with other large shareholders.

Private Company Ownership

Our data indicates that Private Companies hold 72%, of the company's shares. It might be worth looking deeper into this. If related parties, such as insiders, have an interest in one of these private companies, that should be disclosed in the annual report. Private companies may also have a strategic interest in the company.

Next Steps:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand 360 Finance 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.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.