U.S. Markets open in 5 hrs 40 mins

Do Insiders Own Shares In Weidai Ltd. (NYSE:WEI)?

Brandy Kinsey

Want to participate in a short research study? Help shape the future of investing tools and receive a $20 prize!

Every investor in Weidai Ltd. (NYSE:WEI) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. 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.’

Weidai has a market capitalization of US$882m, so we would expect some institutional investors to have noticed the stock. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutional investors have not yet purchased much of the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about WEI.

View our latest analysis for Weidai

NYSE:WEI Ownership Summary, February 22nd 2019

What Does The Lack Of Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Weidai?

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 many reasons why a company might not have any institutions on the share registry. It may be hard for institutions to buy large amounts of shares, if liquidity (the amount of shares traded each day) is low. If the company has not needed to raise capital, institutions might lack the opportunity to build a position. Alternatively, there might be something about the company that has kept institutional investors away. 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 Weidai, for yourself, below.

NYSE:WEI Income Statement, February 22nd 2019

Weidai is not owned by hedge funds. There is some analyst coverage of the stock, but it could still become more well known, with time.

Insider Ownership Of Weidai

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. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

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.

It seems that insiders own more than half the Weidai Ltd. stock. This gives them a lot of power. So they have a US$442m stake in this US$882m business. Most would argue this is a positive, showing strong alignment with shareholders. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

With a 35% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over WEI. While this group can’t necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

Public Company Ownership

It appears to us that public companies own 14% of WEI. This may be a strategic interest and the two companies may have related business interests. It could be that they have de-merged. This holding is probably worth investigating further.

Next Steps:

It’s always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Weidai 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.

But ultimately it is the future, not the past, that will determine how well the owners of this business will do. Therefore we think it advisable to take a look at this free report showing whether analysts are predicting a brighter future.

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.