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A look at the shareholders of EXFO Inc. (TSE:EXF) can tell us which group is most powerful. Institutions will often hold stock in bigger companies, and we expect to see insiders owning a noticeable percentage of the smaller ones. 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.
With a market capitalization of CA$260m, EXFO is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. In the chart below, we can see that institutions own shares in the company. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about EXFO.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About EXFO?
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.
EXFO already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. This implies the analysts working for those institutions have looked at the stock and they like it. But just like anyone else, they could be wrong. It is not uncommon to see a big share price drop if two large institutional investors try to sell out of a stock at the same time. So it is worth checking the past earnings trajectory of EXFO, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.
EXFO is not owned by hedge funds. The company's largest shareholder is G. Lamonde Investissements Financiers Inc., with ownership of 59%. This essentially means that they have extensive influence, if not outright control, over the future of the corporation. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 4.3% and 2.4% of the stock. Germain Lamonde, who is the second-largest shareholder, also happens to hold the title of Top Key Executive. In addition, we found that Philippe Morin, the CEO has 1.2% of the shares allocated to his name
While studying institutional ownership for a company can add value to your research, it is also a good practice to research analyst recommendations to get a deeper understand of a stock's expected performance. 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 EXFO
The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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.
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 some shares in EXFO Inc.. In their own names, insiders own CA$15m worth of stock in the CA$260m company. This shows at least some alignment, but I usually like to see larger insider holdings. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.
General Public Ownership
The general public, with a 22% 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.
Private Company Ownership
We can see that Private Companies own 59%, of the shares on issue. It might be worth looking deeper into this. If related parties, such as insiders, have an interest in one of these private companies, that should be disclosed in the annual report. Private companies may also have a strategic interest in the company.
It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand EXFO 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.
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.
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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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