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The big shareholder groups in Kingsway Financial Services Inc. (NYSE:KFS) have power over the company. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it's not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of smaller companies. 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.
With a market capitalization of US$101m, Kingsway Financial Services is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. In the chart below, we can see that institutions don't own many shares in the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Kingsway Financial Services.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Kingsway Financial Services?
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.
Institutions have a very small stake in Kingsway Financial Services. That indicates that the company is on the radar of some funds, but it isn't particularly popular with professional investors at the moment. 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.
Our data indicates that hedge funds own 34% of Kingsway Financial Services. That worth noting, since hedge funds are often quite active investors, who may try to influence management. Many want to see value creation (and a higher share price) in the short term or medium term. The company's largest shareholder is Stilwell Value LLC, with ownership of 28%. With 12% and 7.5% of the shares outstanding respectively, Oakmont Capital Inc and Charles Frischer are the second and third largest shareholders. In addition, we found that John Taylor Fitzgerald, the CEO has 4.5% of the shares allocated to their name.
To make our study more interesting, we found that the top 4 shareholders control more than half of the company which implies that this group has considerable sway over the company's decision-making.
While it makes sense to study institutional ownership data for a company, it also makes sense to study analyst sentiments to know which way the wind is blowing. We're not picking up on any analyst coverage of the stock at the moment, so the company is unlikely to be widely held.
Insider Ownership Of Kingsway Financial Services
While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. 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.
Our most recent data indicates that insiders own a reasonable proportion of Kingsway Financial Services Inc.. Insiders have a US$25m stake in this US$101m 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 holds a 25% stake in Kingsway Financial Services. While this size of ownership may not be enough to sway a policy decision in their favour, they can still make a collective impact on company policies.
Private Company Ownership
It seems that Private Companies own 12%, of the Kingsway Financial Services stock. 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.
It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Kingsway Financial Services better, we need to consider many other factors. For example, we've discovered 2 warning signs for Kingsway Financial Services (1 is a bit unpleasant!) that you should be aware of before investing here.
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.
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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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