The big shareholder groups in Winchester Energy Limited (ASX:WEL) 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.
Winchester Energy is not a large company by global standards. It has a market capitalization of AU$31m, which means it wouldn't have the attention 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. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about WEL.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Winchester Energy?
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.
Less than 5% of Winchester Energy 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 company is growing earnings, that may indicate that it is just beginning to catch the attention of these deep-pocketed investors. It is not uncommon to see a big share price rise if multiple institutional investors are trying to buy into a stock at the same time. So check out the historic earnings trajectory, below, but keep in mind it's the future that counts most.
Hedge funds don't have many shares in Winchester Energy. As far I can tell there isn't analyst coverage of the company, so it is probably flying under the radar.
Insider Ownership Of Winchester Energy
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.
It seems insiders own a significant proportion of Winchester Energy Limited. Insiders have a AU$4.6m stake in this AU$31m business. I would say this shows alignment with shareholders, but it is worth noting that the company is still quite small; some insiders may have founded the business. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.
General Public Ownership
The general public -- mostly retail investors -- own 73% of Winchester Energy. This size of ownership gives retail investors collective power. They can and probably do influence decisions on executive compensation, dividend policies and proposed business acquisitions.
Private Company Ownership
Our data indicates that Private Companies hold 10%, of the company's shares. 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.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important.
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.
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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