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Every investor in Renren Inc. (NYSE:RENN) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. 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.
Renren is a smaller company with a market capitalization of US$56m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it's seems that institutional investors have not yet purchased much of the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about RENN.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Renren?
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.
Less than 5% of Renren is held by institutional investors. This suggests that some funds have the company in their sights, but many have not yet bought shares in it. If the business gets stronger from here, we could see a situation where more institutions are keen to buy. When multiple institutional investors want to buy shares, we often see a rising share price. The past revenue trajectory (shown below) can be an indication of future growth, but there are no guarantees.
It would appear that 5.7% of Renren shares are controlled by hedge funds. That catches my attention because hedge funds sometimes try to influence management, or bring about changes that will create near term value for shareholders. While there is some analyst coverage, the company is probably not widely covered. So it could gain more attention, down the track.
Insider Ownership Of Renren
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 Renren Inc.. Insiders own US$17m worth of shares in the US$56m company. 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
With a 16% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over RENN. 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 Equity Ownership
Private equity firms hold a 47% stake in RENN. This suggests they can be influential in key policy decisions. Sometimes we see private equity stick around for the long term, but generally speaking they have a shorter investment horizon and -- as the name suggests -- don't invest in public companies much. After some time they may look to sell and redeploy capital elsewhere.
It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Renren better, we need to consider many other factors.
I always like to check for a history of revenue growth. You can too, by accessing this free chart of historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.
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.
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 email@example.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.