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Could The Trinity Biotech plc (NASDAQ:TRIB) Ownership Structure Tell Us Something Useful?

The big shareholder groups in Trinity Biotech plc (NASDAQ:TRIB) have power over the company. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. I quite like to see at least a little bit of insider ownership. As Charlie Munger said ‘Show me the incentive and I will show you the outcome.’

Trinity Biotech is a smaller company with a market capitalization of US$62m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. In the chart below below, we can see that institutional investors have bought into the company. Let’s delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about TRIB.

Check out our latest analysis for Trinity Biotech

NasdaqGS:TRIB Ownership Summary November 2nd 18

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Trinity Biotech?

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.

Trinity Biotech already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 67% of the company. 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. When multiple institutions own a stock, there’s always a risk that they are in a ‘crowded trade’. When such a trade goes wrong, multiple parties may compete to sell stock fast. This risk is higher in a company without a history of growth. You can see Trinity Biotech’s historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.

NasdaqGS:TRIB Income Statement Export November 2nd 18

Investors should note that institutions actually own more than half the company, so they can collectively wield significant power. It looks like hedge funds own 9.5% of Trinity Biotech shares. That worth noting, since hedge funds are often quite active investors, who may try to influence management. Many want to see value creation (and a higher share price) in the short term or medium term. There is some analyst coverage of the stock, but it could still become more well known, with time.

Insider Ownership Of Trinity Biotech

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. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

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.

Shareholders would probably be interested to learn that insiders own shares in Trinity Biotech plc. As individuals, the insiders collectively own US$4m worth of the US$62m company. Some would say this shows alignment of interests between shareholders and the board, though I generally prefer to see bigger insider holdings. But it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.

General Public Ownership

With a 17% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over TRIB. 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.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important.

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 .

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.

To help readers see past 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. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.