I am going to take a deep dive into ATA Inc’s (NASDAQ:ATAI) most recent ownership structure, not a frequent subject of discussion among individual investors. Ownership structure has been found to have an impact on shareholder returns in both short- and long-term. Differences in ownership structure of companies can have a profound effect on how management’s incentives are aligned with shareholder returns, which is why we’ll take a moment to analyse ATAI’s shareholder registry. All data provided is as of the most recent financial year end.
Due to the big order sizes of institutional investors, a company’s shares can experience large, one-sided momentum, driven by high volume of shares removed from, or injected into, the market. With an institutional ownership of 4.16%, ATAI doesn’t seem too exposed to higher volatility resulting from institutional trading. Low coverage stocks like ATAI tend to be favourite picks of legendary investor Peter Lynch, who used to cash in on the rally supported by institutional buying as the stock gained popularity.
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. 23.78% ownership of ATAI insiders is large enough to make an impact on shareholder returns. In general, this level of insider ownership has negatively affected underperforming (consistently low PE ratio) companies and positively affected the companies that outperform (consistently high PE ratio). Another aspect of insider ownership is to learn about their recent transactions. Insider buying may be a sign of upbeat future expectations, however, selling doesn’t necessarily mean the opposite as insiders may be motivated by their personal financial needs.
General Public Ownership
A substantial ownership of 21.77% in ATAI 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 Company Ownership
Potential investors in ATAI should also look at another important group of investors: private companies, with a stake of 50.30%, who are primarily invested because of strategic and capital gain interests. With this size of ownership in ATAI, this ownership class can affect the company’s business strategy. As a result, potential investors should further explore the company’s business relations with these companies and find out if they can affect shareholder returns in the long-term.
What this means for you:
Are you a shareholder? Institutional ownership in ATAI is not at a level that would concern investors. We are less likely to see sustained downtrends or significant volatility resulting from large institutional trading. Looking for ways to reinforce your current portfolio holdings? Take a look at our free platform for a list of stocks with a strong growth potential.
Are you a potential investor? Ownership structure should not be the only focus of your research when constructing an investment thesis around ATAI. Rather, you should be looking at fundamental drivers like the future growth expectations around ATAI, which is a key factor that will influence ATAI’s share value. Take a look at our most recent infographic report on ATAI for a more in-depth analysis of these factors to help you make a more well-informed investment decision.
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.