A look at the shareholders of WidePoint Corporation (NYSEMKT:WYY) can tell us which group is most powerful. Institutions will often hold stock in bigger companies, and we expect to see insiders owning a noticeable percentage of the smaller ones. I quite like to see at least a little bit of insider ownership. As Charlie Munger said 'Show me the incentive and I will show you the outcome.'
WidePoint is not a large company by global standards. It has a market capitalization of US$35m, which means it wouldn't have the attention of many institutional investors. In the chart below below, we can see that institutional investors have bought into the company. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about WYY.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About WidePoint?
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.
WidePoint already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 8.7% of the company. This suggests some credibility amongst professional investors. But we can't rely on that fact alone, since institutions make bad investments sometimes, just like everyone does. 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 WidePoint's earnings history, below. Of course, the future is what really matters.
It looks like hedge funds own 15% of WidePoint 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 WidePoint
The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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.
I generally consider insider ownership to be a good thing. However, on some occasions it makes it more difficult for other shareholders to hold the board accountable for decisions.
Shareholders would probably be interested to learn that insiders own shares in WidePoint Corporation. In their own names, insiders own US$2.1m worth of stock in the US$35m company. Some would say this shows alignment of interests between shareholders and the board, though I generally prefer to see bigger insider holdings. But it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.
General Public Ownership
The general public -- mostly retail investors -- own 70% of WidePoint . This level of ownership gives retail investors the power to sway key policy decisions such as board composition, executive compensation, and the dividend payout ratio.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important.
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.
If you would prefer discover what analysts are predicting in terms of future growth, do not miss this free report on analyst forecasts.
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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