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Can We See Significant Insider Ownership On The Willis Lease Finance Corporation (NASDAQ:WLFC) Share Register?

Simply Wall St

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If you want to know who really controls Willis Lease Finance Corporation (NASDAQ:WLFC), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. Warren Buffett said that he likes 'a business with enduring competitive advantages that is run by able and owner-oriented people'. So it's nice to see some insider ownership, because it may suggest that management is owner-oriented.

Willis Lease Finance is not a large company by global standards. It has a market capitalization of US$303m, which means it wouldn't have the attention of many institutional investors. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutional investors have bought into the company. Let's delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about WLFC.

See our latest analysis for Willis Lease Finance

NasdaqGM:WLFC Ownership Summary, May 10th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Willis Lease Finance?

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.

Willis Lease Finance already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 30% of 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. It is not uncommon to see a big share price drop if two large institutional investors try to sell out of a stock at the same time. So it is worth checking the past earnings trajectory of Willis Lease Finance, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

NasdaqGM:WLFC Income Statement, May 10th 2019

Our data indicates that hedge funds own 8.6% of Willis Lease Finance. 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. Our information suggests that there isn't any analyst coverage of the stock, so it is probably little known.

Insider Ownership Of Willis Lease Finance

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. 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.

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.

It seems insiders own a significant proportion of Willis Lease Finance Corporation. Insiders have a US$56m stake in this US$303m business. I would say this shows alignment with shareholders, but it is worth noting that the company is still quite small; some insiders may have founded the business. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 14% 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.

Private Company Ownership

It seems that Private Companies own 36%, of the WLFC stock. Private companies may be related parties. Sometimes insiders have an interest in a public company through a holding in a private company, rather than in their own capacity as an individual. While it's hard to draw any broad stroke conclusions, it is worth noting as an area for further research.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important.

I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can find historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.

Of course this may not be the best stock to buy. Therefore, you may wish to see our free collection of interesting prospects boasting favorable financials.

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.