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Do Directors Own Origin Agritech Limited (NASDAQ:SEED) Shares?

Mary Ramos

If you want to know who really controls Origin Agritech Limited (NASDAQ:SEED), then you’ll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. 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.’

Origin Agritech is a smaller company with a market capitalization of US$18m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. In the chart below below, we can see that institutions are not really that prevalent on the share registry. Let’s take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about SEED.

View our latest analysis for Origin Agritech

NASDAQGS:SEED Ownership Summary January 24th 19

What Does The Lack Of Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Origin Agritech?

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 could be various reasons why no institutions own shares in a company. Typically, small, newly listed companies don’t attract much attention from fund managers, because it would not be possible for large fund managers to build a meaningful position in the company. On the other hand, it’s always possible that professional investors are avoiding a company because they don’t think it’s the best place for their money. Institutional investors may not find the historic growth of the business impressive, or there might be other factors at play. You can see the past revenue performance of Origin Agritech, for yourself, below.

NASDAQGS:SEED Income Statement Export January 24th 19

We note that hedge funds don’t have a meaningful investment in Origin Agritech. 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 Origin Agritech

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. 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 Origin Agritech Limited. Insiders own US$3.8m worth of shares in the US$18m company. 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, who are mostly retail investors, collectively hold 70% of Origin Agritech 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 Equity Ownership

With a stake of 8.4%, private equity firms could influence the SEED board. Some investors might be encouraged by this, since private equity are sometimes able to encourage strategies that help the market see the value in the company. Alternatively, those holders might be exiting the investment after taking it public.

Next Steps:

It’s always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Origin Agritech better, we need to consider many other factors.

Many find it useful to take an in depth look at how a company has performed in the past. You can access this detailed graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow .

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.

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.