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What Kind Of Shareholder Owns Most ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. (TSE:ATA) Stock?

Simply Wall St

If you want to know who really controls ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. (TSE:ATA), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. Companies that used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.

ATS Automation Tooling Systems has a market capitalization of CA$1.6b, so we would expect some institutional investors to have noticed the stock. In the chart below below, we can see that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let's delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about ATA.

Check out our latest analysis for ATS Automation Tooling Systems

TSX:ATA Ownership Summary, October 22nd 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About ATS Automation Tooling Systems?

Institutional investors commonly compare their own returns to the returns of a commonly followed index. So they generally do consider buying larger companies that are included in the relevant benchmark index.

ATS Automation Tooling Systems already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 53% of the company. 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. 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 ATS Automation Tooling Systems's earnings history, below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

TSX:ATA Income Statement, October 22nd 2019

Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. Our data indicates that hedge funds own 19% of ATS Automation Tooling Systems. 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 ATS Automation Tooling Systems

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. The company management answer to the board; and the latter should represent the interests of shareholders. Notably, sometimes top-level managers are on the board, themselves.

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 information suggests that ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. insiders own under 1% of the company. Keep in mind that it's a big company, and the insiders own CA$9.4m worth of shares. The absolute value might be more important than the proportional share. It is good to see board members owning shares, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.

General Public Ownership

With a 27% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over ATA. 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.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important.

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 are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its 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.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.