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Can We See Significant Insider Ownership On The Westleaf Inc. (CVE:WL) Share Register?

Simply Wall St

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The big shareholder groups in Westleaf Inc. (CVE:WL) have power over the company. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. I quite like to see at least a little bit of insider ownership. As Charlie Munger said 'Show me the incentive and I will show you the outcome.'

Westleaf is a smaller company with a market capitalization of CA$70m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it's seems that institutional investors have not yet purchased much of the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about WL.

Check out our latest analysis for Westleaf

TSXV:WL Ownership Summary, June 20th 2019

What Does The Lack Of Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Westleaf?

We don't tend to see institutional investors holding stock of companies that are very risky, thinly traded, or very small. Though we do sometimes see large companies without institutions on the register, it's not particularly common.

There are many reasons why a company might not have any institutions on the share registry. It may be hard for institutions to buy large amounts of shares, if liquidity (the amount of shares traded each day) is low. If the company has not needed to raise capital, institutions might lack the opportunity to build a position. On the other hand, it's always possible that professional investors are avoiding a company because they don't think it's the best place for their money. Westleaf's earnings and revenue track record (below) may not be compelling to institutional investors -- or they simply might not have looked at the business closely.

TSXV:WL Income Statement, June 20th 2019

We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in Westleaf. There is some analyst coverage of the stock, but it could still become more well known, with time.

Insider Ownership Of Westleaf

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

I generally consider insider ownership to be a good thing. However, on some occasions it makes it more difficult for other shareholders to hold the board accountable for decisions.

Our information suggests that insiders maintain a significant holding in Westleaf Inc.. Insiders have a CA$15m stake in this CA$70m business. This may suggest that the founders still own a lot of shares. You can click here to see if they have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public -- mostly retail investors -- own 66% of Westleaf . This size of ownership gives retail investors collective power. They can and probably do influence decisions on executive compensation, dividend policies and proposed business acquisitions.

Private Company Ownership

We can see that Private Companies own 11%, of the shares on issue. It's hard to draw any conclusions from this fact alone, so its worth looking into who owns those private companies. Sometimes insiders or other related parties have an interest in shares in a public company through a separate private company.

Next Steps:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Westleaf better, we need to consider many other factors.

I always like to check for a history of revenue growth. You can too, by accessing this free chart of historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.

If you would prefer discover what analysts are predicting in terms of future growth, do not miss this free report on analyst forecasts.

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.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.