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A look at the shareholders of Zscaler, Inc. (NASDAQ:ZS) 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. 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.
Zscaler has a market capitalization of US$41b, so it's too big to fly under the radar. We'd expect to see both institutions and retail investors owning a portion of the company. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it seems 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 Zscaler.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Zscaler?
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.
Zscaler 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 Zscaler, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.
We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in Zscaler. With a 19% stake, CEO Jagtar Chaudhry is the largest shareholder. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 19% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 5.4% by the third-largest shareholder.
To make our study more interesting, we found that the top 5 shareholders control more than half of the company which implies that this group has considerable sway over the company's decision-making.
Researching institutional ownership is a good way to gauge and filter a stock's expected performance. The same can be achieved by studying analyst sentiments. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.
Insider Ownership Of Zscaler
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.
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 information suggests that insiders maintain a significant holding in Zscaler, Inc.. It is very interesting to see that insiders have a meaningful US$16b stake in this US$41b business. Most would be pleased to see the board is investing alongside them. You may wish to access this free chart showing recent trading by insiders.
General Public Ownership
With a 16% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over Zscaler. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.
It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Zscaler better, we need to consider many other factors. Take risks for example - Zscaler has 4 warning signs we think you should be aware of.
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. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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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