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Could The Genie Energy Ltd. (NYSE:GNE) Ownership Structure Tell Us Something Useful?

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The big shareholder groups in Genie Energy Ltd. (NYSE:GNE) have power over the company. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. 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.

Genie Energy is a smaller company with a market capitalization of US$295m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it's seems that institutional investors have bought into the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about GNE.

Check out our latest analysis for Genie Energy

NYSE:GNE Ownership Summary, June 27th 2019
NYSE:GNE Ownership Summary, June 27th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Genie Energy?

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.

As you can see, institutional investors own 24% of Genie Energy. This can indicate that the company has a certain degree of credibility in the investment community. However, it is best to be wary of relying on the supposed validation that comes with institutional investors. They too, get it wrong sometimes. If multiple institutions change their view on a stock at the same time, you could see the share price drop fast. It's therefore worth looking at Genie Energy's earnings history, below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

NYSE:GNE Income Statement, June 27th 2019
NYSE:GNE Income Statement, June 27th 2019

Hedge funds don't have many shares in Genie Energy. 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 Genie Energy

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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.

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 a reasonable proportion of Genie Energy Ltd.. Insiders have a US$135m stake in this US$295m business. 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

The general public, with a 24% 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

It seems that Private Companies own 5.7%, of the GNE stock. 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 Genie Energy better, we need to consider many other factors.

I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can find historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.

Ultimately the future is most important. You can access this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

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.