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Is Youdao, Inc.'s (NYSE:DAO) Shareholder Ownership Skewed Towards Insiders?

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A look at the shareholders of Youdao, Inc. (NYSE:DAO) can tell us which group is most powerful. Institutions will often hold stock in bigger companies, and we expect to see insiders owning a noticeable percentage of the smaller ones. 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.

Youdao is a pretty big company. It has a market capitalization of US$3.2b. Normally institutions would own a significant portion of a company this size. In the chart below, we can see that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let's delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about Youdao.

Check out our latest analysis for Youdao

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Youdao?

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.

We can see that Youdao does have institutional investors; and they hold a good portion of the company's stock. This implies the analysts working for those institutions have looked at the stock and they like it. But just like anyone else, they could be wrong. 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 Youdao's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

Hedge funds don't have many shares in Youdao. Our data shows that NetEase, Inc. is the largest shareholder with 53% of shares outstanding. With such a huge stake in the ownership, we infer that they have significant control of the future of the company. Meanwhile, the second and third largest shareholders, hold 16% and 9.6%, of the shares outstanding, respectively. Feng Zhou, who is the second-largest shareholder, also happens to hold the title of Chief Executive Officer.

Researching institutional ownership is a good way to gauge and filter a stock's expected performance. The same can be achieved by studying analyst sentiments. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of Youdao

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. Management ultimately answers to the board. However, it is not uncommon for managers to be executive board members, especially if they are a founder or the CEO.

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.

Our information suggests that insiders maintain a significant holding in Youdao, Inc.. It has a market capitalization of just US$3.2b, and insiders have US$599m worth of shares in their own names. That's quite significant. It is good to see this level of investment. You can check here to see if those insiders have been buying recently.

General Public Ownership

The general public holds a 12% stake in Youdao. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

Public Company Ownership

We can see that public companies hold 53% of the Youdao shares on issue. This may be a strategic interest and the two companies may have related business interests. It could be that they have de-merged. This holding is probably worth investigating further.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Like risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 4 warning signs for Youdao (of which 2 make us uncomfortable!) you should know about.

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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