In this article, I’m going to take a look at Estre Ambiental Inc’s (NASDAQ:ESTR) latest ownership structure, a non-fundamental factor which is important, but remains a less discussed subject among investors. Ownership structure has been found to have an impact on shareholder returns in both short- and long-term. Since the same amount of capital coming from an activist institution and a passive mutual fund has different implications on corporate governance, it is a useful exercise to deconstruct ESTR’s shareholder registry.
In ESTR’s case, institutional ownership stands at 30.02%, significant enough to cause considerable price moves in the case of large institutional transactions, especially when there is a low level of public shares available on the market to trade. However, as not all institutions are alike, such high volatility events, especially in the short-term, have been more frequently linked to active market participants like hedge funds. Considering hedge funds hold a stake of 9.82% in the company, ESTR shares may experience high short-term volatility as this class of institutions are frequently found to sell significantly during market-wide shocks. We should dig deeper into the company’s ownership structure to find how the rest of its ownership structure can impact its investment case.
I find insiders are another important group of stakeholders, who are directly involved in making key decisions related to the use of capital. In essence, insider ownership is more about the alignment of shareholders’ interests with the management. With 5.68% ownership, ESTR insiders is an important ownership type. This level of stake with insiders indicate highly aligned interests of shareholders and company executives. However, it would be interesting to take a look at their buying and selling activities lately. Buying may be sign of upbeat future expectations, but selling doesn’t necessarily mean the opposite as the insiders may be motivated by financial needs or they are simply diversifying their risk.
General Public Ownership
A big stake of 30.29% in ESTR is held by the general public. With this size of ownership, retail investors can collectively play a role in major company policies that affect shareholders returns, including executive remuneration and the appointment of directors. They can also exercise the power to decline an acquisition or merger that may not improve profitability.
Private Equity Ownership
With an ownership of 20.29%, private equity firms are a major stakeholder in ESTR and are in a position to play an important role in shaping up corporate strategy with a focus on value creation. An investor should be encouraged by the ownership of these institutions who are known to be experts in increasing efficiency, improving capital structure and opting for value-accretive policy decisions.
Private Company Ownership
Potential investors in ESTR should also look at another important group of investors: private companies, with a stake of 0.028%, who are primarily invested because of strategic and capital gain interests. However, an ownership of this size may be relatively insignificant, meaning that these shareholders may not have the potential to influence ESTR’s business strategy. Thus, investors not need worry too much about the consequences of these holdings.
With significant institutional ownership, including active hedge, existing investors should seek a margin of safety when investing in ESTR. This may enable shareholders to comfortably invest in the company and avoid getting trapped in a sustained sell-off that is often observed in stocks with this level of institutional participation. However, ownership structure should not be the only determining factor when you’re building an investment thesis for ESTR. Rather, you should be looking at fundamental drivers such as the intrinsic valuation, which is a key driver of Estre Ambiental’s share price. I urge you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:
- Financial Health: Is ESTR’s operations financially sustainable? Balance sheets can be hard to analyze, which is why we’ve done it for you. Check out our financial health checks here.
- Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.
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.
To help readers see pass the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price sensitive company announcements.
The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned.