Given the large stake in the stock by institutions, AutoCanada's stock price might be vulnerable to their trading decisions
A total of 5 investors have a majority stake in the company with 50% ownership
Using data from analyst forecasts alongside ownership research, one can better assess the future performance of a company
A look at the shareholders of AutoCanada Inc. (TSE:ACQ) can tell us which group is most powerful. With 48% stake, institutions possess the maximum shares in the company. Put another way, the group faces the maximum upside potential (or downside risk).
Since institutional have access to huge amounts of capital, their market moves tend to receive a lot of scrutiny by retail or individual investors. Therefore, a good portion of institutional money invested in the company is usually a huge vote of confidence on its future.
In the chart below, we zoom in on the different ownership groups of AutoCanada.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About AutoCanada?
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.
AutoCanada 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 AutoCanada's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.
It would appear that 12% of AutoCanada shares are controlled by hedge funds. 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. Looking at our data, we can see that the largest shareholder is EdgePoint Investment Group Inc. with 28% of shares outstanding. With 12% and 4.2% of the shares outstanding respectively, BloombergSen Inc. and Royce & Associates, LP are the second and third largest shareholders.
On looking further, we found that 50% of the shares are owned by the top 5 shareholders. In other words, these shareholders have a meaningful say in the decisions of the company.
While studying institutional ownership for a company can add value to your research, it is also a good practice to research analyst recommendations to get a deeper understand of a stock's expected performance. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.
Insider Ownership Of AutoCanada
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. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.
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 data suggests that insiders own under 1% of AutoCanada Inc. in their own names. It seems the board members have no more than CA$1.5m worth of shares in the CA$416m company. 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-- including retail investors -- own 39% stake in the company, and hence can't 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. Like risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for AutoCanada (of which 1 is a bit unpleasant!) you should know about.
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.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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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