The big shareholder groups in Cogstate Limited (ASX:CGS) have power over the company. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. 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.
Cogstate is not a large company by global standards. It has a market capitalization of AU$246m, which means it wouldn’t have the attention of many institutional investors. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions own shares in the company. Let’s delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about Cogstate.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Cogstate?
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.
We can see that Cogstate does have institutional investors; and they hold a good portion of the company’s stock. This suggests some credibility amongst professional investors. But we can’t rely on that fact alone since institutions make bad investments sometimes, just like everyone does. If multiple institutions change their view on a stock at the same time, you could see the share price drop fast. It’s therefore worth looking at Cogstate’s earnings history below. Of course, the future is what really matters.
We note that hedge funds don’t have a meaningful investment in Cogstate. Looking at our data, we can see that the largest shareholder is Australian Ethical Investment Ltd. with 17% of shares outstanding. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 15% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 14% by the third-largest shareholder. Martyn Myer, who is the third-largest shareholder, also happens to hold the title of Chairman of the Board. Furthermore, CEO Bradley O’Connor is the owner of 2.6% of the company’s shares.
On looking further, we found that 54% of the shares are owned by the top 4 shareholders. In other words, these shareholders have a meaningful say in the decisions of the company.
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. As far I can tell there isn’t analyst coverage of the company, so it is probably flying under the radar.
Insider Ownership Of Cogstate
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. 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.
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.
It seems insiders own a significant proportion of Cogstate Limited. Insiders own AU$108m worth of shares in the AU$246m company. 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 18% 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.
Public Company Ownership
We can see that public companies hold 6.9% of the Cogstate shares on issue. It’s hard to say for sure but this suggests they have entwined business interests. This might be a strategic stake, so it’s worth watching this space for changes in ownership.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Take risks for example – Cogstate has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.
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.
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