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Do Insiders Own Lots Of Shares In Stage Stores, Inc. (NYSE:SSI)?

Wade Goff

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If you want to know who really controls Stage Stores, Inc. (NYSE:SSI), 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 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$31m, Stage Stores 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 institutional investors have bought into the company. Let’s take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about SSI.

See our latest analysis for Stage Stores

NYSE:SSI Ownership Summary, February 20th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Stage Stores?

Institutions typically measure themselves against a benchmark when reporting to their own investors, so they often become more enthusiastic about a stock once it’s included in a major index. We would expect most companies to have some institutions on the register, especially if they are growing.

As you can see, institutional investors own 30% of Stage Stores. 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. If multiple institutions change their view on a stock at the same time, you could see the share price drop fast. It’s therefore worth looking at Stage Stores’s earnings history, below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

NYSE:SSI Income Statement, February 20th 2019

It looks like hedge funds own 21% of Stage Stores shares. That catches my attention because hedge funds sometimes try to influence management, or bring about changes that will create near term value for shareholders. Our information suggests that there isn’t any analyst coverage of the stock, so it is probably little known.

Insider Ownership Of Stage Stores

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

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 Stage Stores, Inc.. Insiders own US$3.5m worth of shares in the US$31m 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, with a 38% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. While this group can’t necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

Next Steps:

I find it very interesting to look at who exactly owns a company. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too.

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.

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.