Every investor in Sierra Wireless, Inc. (TSE:SW) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. We also tend to see lower insider ownership in companies that were previously publicly owned.
With a market capitalization of CA$883m, Sierra Wireless is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutional investors have bought into the company. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about Sierra Wireless.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Sierra Wireless?
Institutional investors commonly compare their own returns to the returns of a commonly followed index. So they generally do consider buying larger companies that are included in the relevant benchmark index.
Sierra Wireless already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. This can indicate that the company has a certain degree of credibility in the investment community. However, it is best to be wary of relying on the supposed validation that comes with institutional investors. They too, get it wrong sometimes. 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 Sierra Wireless' earnings history below. Of course, the future is what really matters.
It looks like hedge funds own 26% of Sierra Wireless 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. Looking at our data, we can see that the largest shareholder is Trigran Investments, Inc. with 14% of shares outstanding. Meanwhile, the second and third largest shareholders, hold 8.8% and 5.9%, of the shares outstanding, respectively.
After doing some more digging, we found that the top 12 have the combined ownership of 50% in the company, suggesting that no single shareholder has significant control over the company.
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. There are a reasonable number of analysts covering the stock, so it might be useful to find out their aggregate view on the future.
Insider Ownership Of Sierra Wireless
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.
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.
Our most recent data indicates that insiders own less than 1% of Sierra Wireless, Inc.. It has a market capitalization of just CA$883m, and the board has only CA$7.7m worth of shares in their own names. Many tend to prefer to see a board with bigger shareholdings. A good next step might be to take a look at this free summary of insider buying and selling.
General Public Ownership
The general public, with a 43% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. This size of ownership, while considerable, may not be enough to change company policy if the decision is not in sync with other large shareholders.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. For instance, we've identified 3 warning signs for Sierra Wireless that you should be aware of.
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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