If you want to know who really controls Aware, Inc. (NASDAQ:AWRE), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. 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.
Aware is a smaller company with a market capitalization of US$61m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. In the chart below below, we can see that institutions own shares in the company. Let's delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about AWRE.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Aware?
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.
We can see that Aware does have institutional investors; and they hold 23% of the stock. 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. 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 Aware's historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.
Our data indicates that hedge funds own 8.3% of Aware. 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 Aware
While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. 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 most recent data indicates that insiders own a reasonable proportion of Aware, Inc.. It has a market capitalization of just US$61m, and insiders have US$16m worth of shares in their own names. This may suggest that the founders still own a lot of shares. You can click here to see if they have been buying or selling.
General Public Ownership
The general public, with a 42% 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.
It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Aware 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.
Of course this may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free free list of interesting companies.
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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