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Do Directors Own Engagement Labs Inc. (CVE:EL) Shares?

Simply Wall St

A look at the shareholders of Engagement Labs Inc. (CVE:EL) can tell us which group is most powerful. Institutions will often hold stock in bigger companies, and we expect to see insiders owning a noticeable percentage of the smaller ones. 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 CA$11m, Engagement Labs is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions don't own shares in the company. Let's delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about EL.

See our latest analysis for Engagement Labs

TSXV:EL Ownership Summary, October 21st 2019

What Does The Lack Of Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Engagement Labs?

Institutional investors often avoid companies that are too small, too illiquid or too risky for their tastes. But it's unusual to see larger companies without any institutional investors.

There are multiple explanations for why institutions don't own a stock. The most common is that the company is too small relative to fund under management, so the institition does not bother to look closely at the company. It is also possible that fund managers don't own the stock because they aren't convinced it will perform well. Engagement Labs's earnings and revenue track record (below) may not be compelling to institutional investors -- or they simply might not have looked at the business closely.

TSXV:EL Income Statement, October 21st 2019

Engagement Labs is not owned by hedge funds. As far I can tell there isn't analyst coverage of the company, so it is probably flying under the radar.

Insider Ownership Of Engagement Labs

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

I generally consider insider ownership to be a good thing. However, on some occasions it makes it more difficult for other shareholders to hold the board accountable for decisions.

Our information suggests that insiders maintain a significant holding in Engagement Labs Inc.. It has a market capitalization of just CA$11m, and insiders have CA$1.3m worth of shares in their own names. 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, mostly retail investors, hold a substantial 76% stake in EL, suggesting it is a fairly popular stock. This size of ownership gives retail investors collective power. They can and probably do influence decisions on executive compensation, dividend policies and proposed business acquisitions.

Private Equity Ownership

With a stake of 13%, private equity firms could influence the EL board. 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.

Next Steps:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Engagement Labs 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.

Of course this may not be the best stock to buy. Therefore, you may wish to see our free collection of interesting prospects boasting favorable financials.

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.