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A look at the shareholders of DroneShield Limited (ASX:DRO) can tell us which group is most powerful. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in 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.
DroneShield is not a large company by global standards. It has a market capitalization of AU$27m, which means it wouldn't have the attention of many institutional investors. In the chart below below, we can see that institutions don't own shares in the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about DRO.
What Does The Lack Of Institutional Ownership Tell Us About DroneShield?
We don't tend to see institutional investors holding stock of companies that are very risky, thinly traded, or very small. Though we do sometimes see large companies without institutions on the register, it's not particularly common.
There are multiple explanations for why institutions don't own a stock. The most common is that the company is too small relative to fund under management, so the institition does not bother to look closely at 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. DroneShield might not have the sort of past performance institutions are looking for, or perhaps they simply have not studied the business closely.
It would appear that 11% of DroneShield shares are controlled by hedge funds. That's interesting, because hedge funds can be quite active and activist. Many look for medium term catalysts that will drive the share price higher. We're not picking up on any analyst coverage of the stock at the moment, so the company is unlikely to be widely held.
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.
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 DroneShield Limited. Insiders have a AU$5.4m stake in this AU$27m 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 36% 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
With a stake of 32%, private equity firms could influence the DRO board. Some investors might be encouraged by this, since private equity are sometimes able to encourage strategies that help the market see the value in the company. Alternatively, those holders might be exiting the investment after taking it public.
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.
Many find it useful to take an in depth look at how a company has performed in the past. You can access this detailed graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow .
If you would prefer check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of interesting companies, backed by strong financial data.
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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