U.S. Markets open in 1 hr 45 mins

Could AF Legal Group Limited's (ASX:AFL) Investor Composition Influence The Stock Price?

Simply Wall St

A look at the shareholders of AF Legal Group Limited (ASX:AFL) can tell us which group is most powerful. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. Warren Buffett said that he likes 'a business with enduring competitive advantages that is run by able and owner-oriented people'. So it's nice to see some insider ownership, because it may suggest that management is owner-oriented.

With a market capitalization of AU$9.6m, AF Legal Group is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions are not really that prevalent on the share registry. Let's delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about AFL.

See our latest analysis for AF Legal Group

ASX:AFL Ownership Summary, November 10th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About AF Legal Group?

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.

Since institutions own under 5% of AF Legal Group, many may not have spent much time considering the stock. But it's clear that some have; and they liked it enough to buy in. If the company is growing earnings, that may indicate that it is just beginning to catch the attention of these deep-pocketed investors. When multiple institutional investors want to buy shares, we often see a rising share price. The past revenue trajectory (shown below) can be an indication of future growth, but there are no guarantees.

ASX:AFL Income Statement, November 10th 2019

AF Legal Group is not owned by hedge funds. We're not picking up on any analyst coverage of the stock at the moment, so the company is unlikely to be widely held.

Insider Ownership Of AF Legal Group

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. Management ultimately answers to the board. However, it is not uncommon for managers to be executive board members, especially if they are a founder or the CEO.

Most consider insider ownership a positive because it can indicate the board is well aligned with other shareholders. However, on some occasions too much power is concentrated within this group.

It seems insiders own a significant proportion of AF Legal Group Limited. Insiders own AU$3.7m worth of shares in the AU$9.6m company. I would say this shows alignment with shareholders, but it is worth noting that the company is still quite small; some insiders may have founded the business. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

With a 44% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over AFL. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

Private Company Ownership

Our data indicates that Private Companies hold 16%, 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 AF Legal Group better, we need to consider many other factors.

I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can access this interactive graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow for free.

Of course this may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free free list of interesting companies.

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.