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Could The X Financial (NYSE:XYF) Ownership Structure Tell Us Something Useful?

·4-min read

A look at the shareholders of X Financial (NYSE:XYF) can tell us which group is most powerful. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it's not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of smaller companies. I quite like to see at least a little bit of insider ownership. As Charlie Munger said 'Show me the incentive and I will show you the outcome.

X Financial is a smaller company with a market capitalization of US$149m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutional investors have not yet purchased much of the company. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about X Financial.

Check out our latest analysis for X Financial

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Lack Of Institutional Ownership Tell Us About X Financial?

Small companies that are not very actively traded often lack institutional investors, but it's less common to see large companies without them.

There are multiple explanations for why institutions don't own a stock. The most common is that the company is too small relative to funds under management, so the institution does not bother to look closely at the company. Alternatively, there might be something about the company that has kept institutional investors away. X Financial's earnings and revenue track record (below) may not be compelling to institutional investors -- or they simply might not have looked at the business closely.

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

We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in X Financial. Looking at our data, we can see that the largest shareholder is the CEO Yue Tang with 32% of shares outstanding. With 12% and 8.6% of the shares outstanding respectively, Chow Tai Fook Capital Limited and Baoguo Zhu are the second and third largest shareholders.

To make our study more interesting, we found that the top 3 shareholders have a majority ownership in the company, meaning that they are powerful enough to influence the decisions of the company.

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. Our information suggests that there isn't any analyst coverage of the stock, so it is probably little known.

Insider Ownership Of X Financial

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. 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 that insiders own more than half the X Financial stock. This gives them a lot of power. Given it has a market cap of US$149m, that means they have US$81m worth of shares. Most would argue this is a positive, showing strong alignment with shareholders. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

With a 33% ownership, the general public, mostly comprising of individual investors, have some degree of sway over X Financial. 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 Company Ownership

Our data indicates that Private Companies hold 12%, of the company's shares. Private companies may be related parties. Sometimes insiders have an interest in a public company through a holding in a private company, rather than in their own capacity as an individual. While it's hard to draw any broad stroke conclusions, it is worth noting as an area for further research.

Next Steps:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand X Financial better, we need to consider many other factors.

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.

Of course this may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free 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.

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.

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