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Could Westport Fuel Systems Inc.'s (TSE:WPRT) Investor Composition Influence The Stock Price?

Simply Wall St

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If you want to know who really controls Westport Fuel Systems Inc. (TSE:WPRT), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. Companies that used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.

With a market capitalization of CA$537m, Westport Fuel Systems is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it's seems that institutions own shares in the company. Let's delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about WPRT.

View our latest analysis for Westport Fuel Systems

TSX:WPRT Ownership Summary, July 17th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Westport Fuel Systems?

Many institutions measure their performance against an index that approximates the local market. So they usually pay more attention to companies that are included in major indices.

We can see that Westport Fuel Systems does have institutional investors; and they hold 21% of the stock. 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. 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 Westport Fuel Systems's historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

TSX:WPRT Income Statement, July 17th 2019

Hedge funds don't have many shares in Westport Fuel Systems. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of Westport Fuel Systems

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.

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.

Shareholders would probably be interested to learn that insiders own shares in Westport Fuel Systems Inc.. As individuals, the insiders collectively own CA$24m worth of the CA$537m company. Some would say this shows alignment of interests between shareholders and the board. But it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, who are mostly retail investors, collectively hold 64% of Westport Fuel Systems shares. With this size of ownership, retail investors can collectively play a role in decisions that affect shareholder returns, such as dividend policies and the appointment of directors. They can also exercise the power to decline an acquisition or merger that may not improve profitability.

Private Company Ownership

It seems that Private Companies own 10%, of the WPRT 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:

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

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.

If you would prefer discover what analysts are predicting in terms of future growth, do not miss this free report on analyst forecasts.

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.