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What Kind Of Shareholder Owns Most Sierra Wireless, Inc. (TSE:SW) Stock?

Simply Wall St

A look at the shareholders of Sierra Wireless, Inc. (TSE:SW) can tell us which group is most powerful. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.

Sierra Wireless is a smaller company with a market capitalization of CA$548m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about SW.

View our latest analysis for Sierra Wireless

TSX:SW Ownership Summary, August 22nd 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Sierra Wireless?

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.

Sierra Wireless already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 33% 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. 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 Sierra Wireless's historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

TSX:SW Income Statement, August 22nd 2019

It would appear that 9.9% of Sierra Wireless shares are controlled by hedge funds. 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. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of Sierra Wireless

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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 data suggests that insiders own under 1% of Sierra Wireless, Inc. in their own names. It has a market capitalization of just CA$548m, and the board has only CA$5.0m worth of shares in their own names. Many investors in smaller companies prefer to see the board more heavily invested. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public -- mostly retail investors -- own 56% of Sierra Wireless . With this size of ownership, retail investors can collectively play a role in decisions that affect shareholder returns, such as dividend policies and the appointment of directors. They can also exercise the power to decline an acquisition or merger that may not improve profitability.

Next Steps:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Sierra Wireless better, we need to consider many other factors.

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 .

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 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.