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Do Insiders Own Lots Of Shares In AppFolio, Inc. (NASDAQ:APPF)?

Simply Wall St

Every investor in AppFolio, Inc. (NASDAQ:APPF) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it's not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of smaller companies. 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.

AppFolio is a pretty big company. It has a market capitalization of US$3.2b. Normally institutions would own a significant portion of a company this size. In the chart below below, we can see that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about APPF.

Check out our latest analysis for AppFolio

NasdaqGM:APPF Ownership Summary, October 12th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About AppFolio?

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.

AppFolio already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 37% of the company. This suggests some credibility amongst professional investors. But we can't rely on that fact alone, since institutions make bad investments sometimes, just like everyone does. 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 AppFolio's historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

NasdaqGM:APPF Income Statement, October 12th 2019

AppFolio is not owned by hedge funds. There are a reasonable number of analysts covering the stock, so it might be useful to find out their aggregate view on the future.

Insider Ownership Of AppFolio

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.

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.

Our most recent data indicates that insiders own a reasonable proportion of AppFolio, Inc.. It is very interesting to see that insiders have a meaningful US$1.2b stake in this US$3.2b business. Most would be pleased to see the board is investing alongside them. You may wish to access this free chart showing recent trading by insiders.

General Public Ownership

The general public holds a 12% stake in APPF. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

Private Equity Ownership

With an ownership of 14%, private equity firms are in a position to play a role in shaping corporate strategy with a focus on value creation. 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 AppFolio 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.

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.