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What Does DroneShield Limited’s (ASX:DRO) Ownership Structure Look Like?

The big shareholder groups in DroneShield Limited (ASX:DRO) have power over the company. 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.

DroneShield is not a large company by global standards. It has a market capitalization of AU$30m, which means it wouldn’t have the attention of many institutional investors. Taking a look at the our data on the ownership groups (below), it’s seems that institutions don’t own shares in the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about DRO.

See our latest analysis for DroneShield

ASX:DRO Ownership Summary October 10th 18

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

Institutional investors often avoid companies that are too small, too illiquid or too risky for their tastes. But it’s unusual to see larger companies without any institutional investors.

There could be various reasons why no institutions own shares in a company. Typically, small, newly listed companies don’t attract much attention from fund managers, because it would not be possible for large fund managers to build a meaningful position in the company. 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. Institutional investors may not find the historic growth of the business impressive, or there might be other factors at play. You can see the past revenue performance of DroneShield, for yourself, below.

ASX:DRO Income Statement Export October 10th 18

Our data indicates that hedge funds own 15% of DroneShield. That catches my attention because hedge funds sometimes try to influence management, or bring about changes that will create near term value for shareholders. Our information suggests that there isn’t any analyst coverage of the stock, so it is probably little known.

Insider Ownership Of DroneShield

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. 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.

Insider ownership is positive when it signals leadership are thinking like the true owners of the company. However, high insider ownership can also give immense power to a small group within the company. This can be negative in some circumstances.

Our most recent data indicates that insiders own a reasonable proportion of DroneShield Limited. Insiders have a AU$7m stake in this AU$30m 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, with a 22% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. 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

Private equity firms hold a 36% stake in DRO. This suggests they can be influential in key policy decisions. 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.

Next Steps:

I find it very interesting to look at who exactly owns a company. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too.

I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can access this interactive graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow for free .

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies.

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 past 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. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.