If you want to know who really controls Sohu.com Limited (NASDAQ:SOHU), 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. We also tend to see lower insider ownership in companies that were previously publicly owned.
With a market capitalization of US$697m, Sohu.com 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 are noticeable on the share registry. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about Sohu.com.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Sohu.com?
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.
Sohu.com 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. 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 Sohu.com's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.
Our data indicates that hedge funds own 6.0% of Sohu.com. That worth noting, since hedge funds are often quite active investors, who may try to influence management. Many want to see value creation (and a higher share price) in the short term or medium term. The company's largest shareholder is Photon Group Limited, with ownership of 25%. Macquarie Investment Management Business Trust is the second largest shareholder owning 9.0% of common stock, and Renaissance Technologies Corp. holds about 6.0% of the company stock. In addition, we found that Chaoyang Zhang, the CEO has 0.7% of the shares allocated to their name.
We also observed that the top 7 shareholders account for more than half of the share register, with a few smaller shareholders to balance the interests of the larger ones to a certain extent.
While it makes sense to study institutional ownership data for a company, it also makes sense to study analyst sentiments to know which way the wind is blowing. There is some analyst coverage of the stock, but it could still become more well known, with time.
Insider Ownership Of Sohu.com
The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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.
I can report that insiders do own shares in Sohu.com Limited. In their own names, insiders own US$8.8m worth of stock in the US$697m company. This shows at least some alignment. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.
General Public Ownership
With a 31% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over Sohu.com. While this size of ownership may not be enough to sway a policy decision in their favour, they can still make a collective impact on company policies.
Private Company Ownership
It seems that Private Companies own 25%, of the Sohu.com stock. It's hard to draw any conclusions from this fact alone, so its worth looking into who owns those private companies. Sometimes insiders or other related parties have an interest in shares in a public company through a separate private company.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important.
I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can access this interactive graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow, for free.
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.
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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