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With 76% ownership of the shares, Aehr Test Systems (NASDAQ:AEHR) is heavily dominated by institutional owners

Key Insights

  • Significantly high institutional ownership implies Aehr Test Systems' stock price is sensitive to their trading actions

  • A total of 15 investors have a majority stake in the company with 51% ownership

  • Recent sales by insiders

If you want to know who really controls Aehr Test Systems (NASDAQ:AEHR), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. With 76% stake, institutions possess the maximum shares in the company. In other words, the group stands to gain the most (or lose the most) from their investment into the company.

Since institutional have access to huge amounts of capital, their market moves tend to receive a lot of scrutiny by retail or individual investors. As a result, a sizeable amount of institutional money invested in a firm is generally viewed as a positive attribute.

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In the chart below, we zoom in on the different ownership groups of Aehr Test Systems.

View our latest analysis for Aehr Test Systems

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Aehr Test Systems?

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.

Aehr Test Systems 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. It is not uncommon to see a big share price drop if two large institutional investors try to sell out of a stock at the same time. So it is worth checking the past earnings trajectory of Aehr Test Systems, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

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

Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in Aehr Test Systems. BlackRock, Inc. is currently the company's largest shareholder with 7.2% of shares outstanding. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 6.4% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 5.1% by the third-largest shareholder. Additionally, the company's CEO Gayn Erickson directly holds 1.0% of the total shares outstanding.

Looking at the shareholder registry, we can see that 51% of the ownership is controlled by the top 15 shareholders, meaning that no single shareholder has a majority interest in the ownership.

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 Aehr Test Systems

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.

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.

Shareholders would probably be interested to learn that insiders own shares in Aehr Test Systems. As individuals, the insiders collectively own US$25m worth of the US$467m company. Some would say this shows alignment of interests between shareholders and the board. But it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, who are usually individual investors, hold a 19% stake in Aehr Test Systems. 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.

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. Like risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for Aehr Test Systems (of which 1 is concerning!) 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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.