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If you want to know who really controls AppHarvest, Inc. (NASDAQ:APPH), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it's not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of smaller companies. 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.
With a market capitalization of US$417m, AppHarvest is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by 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 AppHarvest.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About AppHarvest?
Institutions typically measure themselves against a benchmark when reporting to their own investors, so they often become more enthusiastic about a stock once it's included in a major index. We would expect most companies to have some institutions on the register, especially if they are growing.
AppHarvest already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. 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. If multiple institutions change their view on a stock at the same time, you could see the share price drop fast. It's therefore worth looking at AppHarvest's earnings history below. Of course, the future is what really matters.
Our data indicates that hedge funds own 5.7% of AppHarvest. That catches my attention because hedge funds sometimes try to influence management, or bring about changes that will create near term value for shareholders. The company's CEO Jonathan Webb is the largest shareholder with 18% of shares outstanding. Meanwhile, the second and third largest shareholders, hold 5.7% and 5.3%, of the shares outstanding, respectively.
On further inspection, we found that more than half the company's shares are owned by the top 9 shareholders, suggesting that the interests of the larger shareholders are balanced out to an extent by the smaller ones.
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. While there is some analyst coverage, the company is probably not widely covered. So it could gain more attention, down the track.
Insider Ownership Of AppHarvest
The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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.
It seems insiders own a significant proportion of AppHarvest, Inc.. Insiders own US$85m worth of shares in the US$417m company. 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
With a 25% ownership, the general public, mostly comprising of individual investors, have some degree of sway over AppHarvest. 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 Equity Ownership
Private equity firms hold a 5.3% stake in AppHarvest. This suggests they can be influential in key policy decisions. Some might like this, because private equity are sometimes activists who hold management accountable. But other times, private equity is selling out, having taking the company public.
It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand AppHarvest better, we need to consider many other factors. Like risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 5 warning signs for AppHarvest (of which 1 is potentially serious!) you should know about.
Ultimately the future is most important. You can access this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.
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.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.