The big shareholder groups in RealNetworks, Inc. (NASDAQ:RNWK) have power over the company. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. 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.
RealNetworks is a smaller company with a market capitalization of US$60m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it's seems that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about RNWK.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About RealNetworks?
Many institutions measure their performance against an index that approximates the local market. So they usually pay more attention to companies that are included in major indices.
RealNetworks already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 37% of the company. This can indicate that the company has a certain degree of credibility in the investment community. However, it is best to be wary of relying on the supposed validation that comes with institutional investors. They too, get it wrong sometimes. 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 RealNetworks's earnings history, below. Of course, the future is what really matters.
Our data indicates that hedge funds own 7.6% of RealNetworks. That's interesting, because hedge funds can be quite active and activist. Many look for medium term catalysts that will drive the share price higher. As far I can tell there isn't analyst coverage of the company, so it is probably flying under the radar.
Insider Ownership Of RealNetworks
While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.
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 most recent data indicates that insiders own a reasonable proportion of RealNetworks, Inc.. Insiders have a US$21m stake in this US$60m business. It is great to see insiders so invested in the business. It might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying recently.
General Public Ownership
The general public, with a 20% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. This size of ownership, while considerable, may not be enough to change company policy if the decision is not in sync with other large shareholders.
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.
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