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Who Really Owns Charles & Colvard Ltd (NASDAQ:CTHR)?

Rowena Gregory

I am going to take a deep dive into Charles & Colvard Ltd’s (NASDAQ:CTHR) 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 CTHR’s shareholder registry.

View our latest analysis for Charles & Colvard

NasdaqCM:CTHR Ownership_summary May 17th 18

Institutional Ownership

CTHR’s 13.93% institutional ownership seems enough to cause large share price movements in the case of significant share sell-off or acquisitions by institutions, particularly when there is a low level of public shares available on the market to trade. These moves, at least in the short-term, are generally observed in an institutional ownership mix comprising of active stock pickers, in particular levered hedge funds, which can cause large price swings. Hedge funds, considered active investors, hold a 8.02% stake in the company, which may be the cause of high short-term volatility in the stock price. We should dig deeper into the company’s ownership structure to find how the rest of its ownership structure can impact its investment case.

Insider Ownership

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. CTHR insiders are also influential stakeholders with 5.98% ownership in the company. This level of ownership indicates closely aligned interests of shareholders and management. 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.

NasdaqCM:CTHR Insider_trading May 17th 18

General Public Ownership

The general public holds a substantial 72.07% stake in CTHR, making it a highly popular stock among retail investors. This size of ownership gives retail investors collective power in deciding on major policy decisions such as executive compensation, appointment of directors and acquisitions of businesses. This level of ownership gives retail investors the power to sway key policy decisions such as board composition, executive compensation, and potential acquisitions. This is a positive sign for an investor who wants to be involved in key decision-making of the company.

Next Steps:

With significant institutional ownership, including active hedge, existing investors should seek a margin of safety when investing in CTHR. This is to 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 focus of your research when constructing an investment thesis around CTHR. Rather, you should be looking at fundamental drivers such as Charles & Colvard’s past track record and financial health. I urge you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Financial Health: Is CTHR’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.
  2. Past Track Record: Has CTHR been consistently performing well irrespective of the ups and downs in the market? Go into more detail in the past performance analysis and take a look at the free visual representations of CTHR’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. 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.