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Do Directors Own China Finance Online Co. Limited (NASDAQ:JRJC) Shares?

Simply Wall St

The big shareholder groups in China Finance Online Co. Limited (NASDAQ:JRJC) have power over the company. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. I generally like to see some degree of insider ownership, even if only a little. As Nassim Nicholas Taleb said, 'Don’t tell me what you think, tell me what you have in your portfolio.

With a market capitalization of US$17m, China Finance Online 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 don't own many shares in the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about JRJC.

See our latest analysis for China Finance Online

NasdaqGS:JRJC Ownership Summary, November 12th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About China Finance Online?

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.

Less than 5% of China Finance Online 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. If the business gets stronger from here, we could see a situation where more institutions are keen to buy. 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.

NasdaqGS:JRJC Income Statement, November 11th 2019

We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in China Finance Online. 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 China Finance Online

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. The company management answer to the board; and the latter should represent the interests of shareholders. Notably, sometimes top-level managers are on the board, themselves.

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 most recent data indicates that insiders own a reasonable proportion of China Finance Online Co. Limited. Insiders own US$4.3m worth of shares in the US$17m company. This may suggest that the founders still own a lot of shares. You can click here to see if they have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public -- mostly retail investors -- own 57% of China Finance Online. This level of ownership gives retail investors the power to sway key policy decisions such as board composition, executive compensation, and the dividend payout ratio.

Private Equity Ownership

Private equity firms hold a 5.5% stake in JRJC. This suggests they can be influential in key policy decisions. Sometimes we see private equity stick around for the long term, but generally speaking they have a shorter investment horizon and -- as the name suggests -- don't invest in public companies much. After some time they may look to sell and redeploy capital elsewhere.

Private Company Ownership

It seems that Private Companies own 9.1%, of the JRJC stock. It's hard to draw any conclusions from this fact alone, so its worth looking into who owns those private companies. Sometimes insiders or other related parties have an interest in shares in a public company through a separate private 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 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, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this 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.