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What Kind Of Shareholder Appears On The Conformis, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:CFMS) Shareholder Register?

Andrew Carroll

The big shareholder groups in Conformis, Inc. (NASDAQ:CFMS) have power over the company. 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.

With a market capitalization of US$36m, Conformis is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions own shares in the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about CFMS.

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NASDAQGS:CFMS Ownership Summary January 29th 19

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Conformis?

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.

We can see that Conformis does have institutional investors; and they hold 26% of the stock. 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. If multiple institutions change their view on a stock at the same time, you could see the share price drop fast. It’s therefore worth looking at Conformis’s earnings history, below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

NASDAQGS:CFMS Income Statement Export January 29th 19

It looks like hedge funds own 18% of Conformis shares. 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. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of Conformis

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

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 some shares in Conformis, Inc.. It has a market capitalization of just US$36m, and insiders have US$2.0m worth of shares, in their own names. Some would say this shows alignment of interests between shareholders and the board, though I generally prefer to see bigger insider holdings. But it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.

General Public Ownership

With a 46% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over CFMS. 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 4.5%, 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.

Next Steps:

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 .

Ultimately the future is most important. You can access this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

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.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.