Every investor in Splitit Payments Ltd (ASX:SPT) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. I generally like to see some degree of insider ownership, even if only a little. As Nassim Nicholas Taleb said, 'Don’t tell me what you think, tell me what you have in your portfolio.
Splitit Payments is not a large company by global standards. It has a market capitalization of AU$146m, which means it wouldn't have the attention of many institutional investors. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it seems that institutions are not really that prevalent on the share registry. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Splitit Payments.
What Does The Lack Of Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Splitit Payments?
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. It is also possible that fund managers don't own the stock because they aren't convinced it will perform well. Splitit Payments might not have the sort of past performance institutions are looking for, or perhaps they simply have not studied the business closely.
Hedge funds don't have many shares in Splitit Payments. Looking at our data, we can see that the largest shareholder is Road The Book Trust with 7.5% of shares outstanding. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 5.3% and 5.1% of the stock.
On studying our ownership data, we found that 25 of the top shareholders collectively own less than 50% of the share register, implying that no single individual has a majority interest.
Researching institutional ownership is a good way to gauge and filter a stock's expected performance. The same can be achieved by studying analyst sentiments. There is some analyst coverage of the stock, but it could still become more well known, with time.
Insider Ownership Of Splitit Payments
While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. Management ultimately answers to the board. However, it is not uncommon for managers to be executive board members, especially if they are a founder or the CEO.
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 Splitit Payments Ltd. Insiders have a AU$31m stake in this AU$146m business. It is great to see insiders so invested in the business. It might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying recently.
General Public Ownership
The general public, mostly comprising of individual investors, collectively holds 58% of Splitit Payments shares. This level of ownership gives investors from the wider public some power to sway key policy decisions such as board composition, executive compensation, and the dividend payout ratio.
Private Company Ownership
We can see that Private Companies own 21%, of the shares on issue. It's hard to draw any conclusions from this fact alone, so its worth looking into who owns those private companies. Sometimes insiders or other related parties have an interest in shares in a public company through a separate private company.
It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Splitit Payments better, we need to consider many other factors. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 4 warning signs with Splitit Payments (at least 1 which is potentially serious) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
But ultimately it is the future, not the past, that will determine how well the owners of this business will do. Therefore we think it advisable to take a look at this free report showing whether analysts are predicting a brighter future.
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.