The big shareholder groups in Nitro Software Limited (ASX:NTO) have power over the company. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. 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.
Nitro Software is a smaller company with a market capitalization of AU$311m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. In the chart below, we can see that institutions own shares in the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Nitro Software.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Nitro Software?
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.
Nitro Software already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. 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. When multiple institutions own a stock, there's always a risk that they are in a 'crowded trade'. When such a trade goes wrong, multiple parties may compete to sell stock fast. This risk is higher in a company without a history of growth. You can see Nitro Software's historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.
It looks like hedge funds own 6.7% of Nitro Software 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. Starfish Ventures Pty Ltd is currently the largest shareholder, with 14% of shares outstanding. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 13% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 6.8% by the third-largest shareholder. In addition, we found that Sam Chandler, the CEO has 2.2% of the shares allocated to his name
On further inspection, we found that more than half the company's shares are owned by the top 6 shareholders, suggesting that the interests of the larger shareholders are balanced out to an extent by the smaller ones.
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. While there is some analyst coverage, the company is probably not widely covered. So it could gain more attention, down the track.
Insider Ownership Of Nitro Software
The definition of company insiders can be subjective, and does vary between jurisdictions. Our data reflects individual insiders, capturing board members at the very least. 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 Nitro Software Limited. Insiders have a AU$49m stake in this AU$311m business. It is great to see insiders so invested in the business. It might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying recently.
General Public Ownership
With a 29% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over NTO. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.
Private Equity Ownership
With a stake of 27%, private equity firms could influence the NTO board. Sometimes we see private equity stick around for the long term, but generally speaking they have a shorter investment horizon and -- as the name suggests -- don't invest in public companies much. After some time they may look to sell and redeploy capital elsewhere.
Private Company Ownership
Our data indicates that Private Companies hold 4.8%, 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. To that end, you should be aware of the 1 warning sign we've spotted with Nitro Software .
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.
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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