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A look at the shareholders of Global Ship Lease, Inc. (NYSE:GSL) can tell us which group is most powerful. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. I generally like to see some degree of insider ownership, even if only a little. As Nassim Nicholas Taleb said, 'Don’t tell me what you think, tell me what you have in your portfolio.
With a market capitalization of US$548m, Global Ship Lease is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. In the chart below, we can see that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Global Ship Lease.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Global Ship Lease?
Many institutions measure their performance against an index that approximates the local market. So they usually pay more attention to companies that are included in major indices.
As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in Global Ship Lease. 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. 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 Global Ship Lease's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.
Global Ship Lease is not owned by hedge funds. The company's largest shareholder is Kelso & Company, L.P., with ownership of 22%. The second and third largest shareholders are Merit Corporation and B. Riley Capital Management, LLC, with an equal amount of shares to their name at 8.4%.
We did some more digging and found that 6 of the top shareholders account for roughly 51% of the register, implying that along with larger shareholders, there are a few smaller shareholders, thereby balancing out each others interests somewhat.
While it makes sense to study institutional ownership data for a company, it also makes sense to study analyst sentiments to know which way the wind is blowing. There is a little analyst coverage of the stock, but not much. So there is room for it to gain more coverage.
Insider Ownership Of Global Ship Lease
The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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.
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.
Shareholders would probably be interested to learn that insiders own shares in Global Ship Lease, Inc.. As individuals, the insiders collectively own US$48m worth of the US$548m company. It is good to see some investment by insiders, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.
General Public Ownership
With a 36% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over Global Ship Lease. While this size of ownership may not be enough to sway a policy decision in their favour, they can still make a collective impact on company policies.
Private Equity Ownership
With an ownership of 22%, private equity firms are in a position to play a role in shaping corporate strategy with a focus on value creation. Sometimes we see private equity stick around for the long term, but generally speaking they have a shorter investment horizon and -- as the name suggests -- don't invest in public companies much. After some time they may look to sell and redeploy capital elsewhere.
Private Company Ownership
It seems that Private Companies own 8.4%, of the Global Ship Lease 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.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Case in point: We've spotted 3 warning signs for Global Ship Lease you should be aware of, and 2 of them are a bit unpleasant.
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.
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. 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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