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Could China Automotive Systems, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:CAAS) Investor Composition Influence The Stock Price?

Simply Wall St

Every investor in China Automotive Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CAAS) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it's not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of 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 US$80m, China Automotive Systems is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. In the chart below below, we can see that institutional investors have not yet purchased much of the company. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about CAAS.

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See our latest analysis for China Automotive Systems

NasdaqCM:CAAS Ownership Summary, May 16th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About China Automotive Systems?

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.

Less than 5% of China Automotive Systems is held by institutional investors. This suggests that some funds have the company in their sights, but many have not yet bought shares in it. So if the company itself can improve over time, we may well see more institutional buyers in the future. It is not uncommon to see a big share price rise if multiple institutional investors are trying to buy into a stock at the same time. So check out the historic earnings trajectory, below, but keep in mind it's the future that counts most.

NasdaqCM:CAAS Income Statement, May 16th 2019

We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in China Automotive Systems. There is a little analyst coverage of the stock, but not much. So there is room for it to gain more coverage.

Insider Ownership Of China Automotive Systems

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. 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.

Our information suggests that insiders own more than half of China Automotive Systems, Inc.. This gives them effective control of the company. Given it has a market cap of US$80m, that means they have US$42m worth of shares. It is good to see this level of investment. You can check here to see if those insiders have been buying recently.

General Public Ownership

The general public holds a 35% stake in CAAS. 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 9.8%, 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 China Automotive Systems better, we need to consider many other factors.

I always like to check for a history of revenue growth. You can too, by accessing this free chart of historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.

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.

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.