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What Kind Of Shareholders Own Westell Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:WSTL)?

Simply Wall St

If you want to know who really controls Westell Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:WSTL), then you’ll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Institutions will often hold stock in bigger companies, and we expect to see insiders owning a noticeable percentage of the smaller ones. I generally like to see some degree of insider ownership, even if only a little. As Nassim Nicholas Taleb said, ‘Don’t tell me what you think, tell me what you have in your portfolio.’

Westell Technologies is not a large company by global standards. It has a market capitalization of US$33m, 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 institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let’s delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about WSTL.

See our latest analysis for Westell Technologies

NasdaqCM:WSTL Ownership Summary, March 6th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Westell Technologies?

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 Westell Technologies does have institutional investors; and they hold 10% 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 Westell Technologies’s earnings history, below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

NasdaqCM:WSTL Income Statement, March 6th 2019

It looks like hedge funds own 6.1% of Westell Technologies shares. That catches my attention because hedge funds sometimes try to influence management, or bring about changes that will create near term value for shareholders. There is some analyst coverage of the stock, but it could still become more well known, with time.

Insider Ownership Of Westell Technologies

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.

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.

It seems insiders own a significant proportion of Westell Technologies, Inc.. It has a market capitalization of just US$33m, and insiders have US$11m worth of shares in their own names. 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, hold a substantial 51% stake in WSTL, suggesting it is a fairly popular stock. 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 Westell Technologies better, we need to consider many other factors.

I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can find 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 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.