The big shareholder groups in Cogstate Limited (ASX:CGS) have power over the company. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. 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.
Cogstate is not a large company by global standards. It has a market capitalization of AU$289m, which means it wouldn't have the attention of many institutional investors. In the chart below, we can see that institutions own shares in the company. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about Cogstate.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Cogstate?
Many institutions measure their performance against an index that approximates the local market. So they usually pay more attention to companies that are included in major indices.
We can see that Cogstate does have institutional investors; and they hold a good portion of the company's stock. 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 Cogstate, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.
Hedge funds don't have many shares in Cogstate. David Dolby is currently the company's largest shareholder with 14% of shares outstanding. Meanwhile, the second and third largest shareholders, hold 13% and 6.8%, of the shares outstanding, respectively. Additionally, the company's CEO Bradley O'Connor directly holds 2.5% of the total shares outstanding.
We also observed that the top 9 shareholders account for more than half of the share register, with a few smaller shareholders to balance the interests of the larger ones to a certain extent.
While studying institutional ownership for a company can add value to your research, it is also a good practice to research analyst recommendations to get a deeper understand of a stock's expected performance. 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 Cogstate
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.
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.
Our information suggests that insiders maintain a significant holding in Cogstate Limited. Insiders own AU$116m worth of shares in the AU$289m company. 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-- including retail investors -- own 29% stake in the company, and hence can't easily be ignored. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.
Public Company Ownership
Public companies currently own 6.8% of Cogstate stock. We can't be certain but it is quite possible this is a strategic stake. The businesses may be similar, or work together.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. For example, we've discovered 2 warning signs for Cogstate that you should be aware of before investing here.
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.