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Could The PyroGenesis Canada Inc. (TSE:PYR) Ownership Structure Tell Us Something Useful?

If you want to know who really controls PyroGenesis Canada Inc. (TSE:PYR), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. Warren Buffett said that he likes "a business with enduring competitive advantages that is run by able and owner-oriented people." So it's nice to see some insider ownership, because it may suggest that management is owner-oriented.

PyroGenesis Canada is a smaller company with a market capitalization of CA$490m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it seems that institutional investors have not yet purchased much of the company. Let's delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about PyroGenesis Canada.

See our latest analysis for PyroGenesis Canada

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Lack Of Institutional Ownership Tell Us About PyroGenesis Canada?

We don't tend to see institutional investors holding stock of companies that are very risky, thinly traded, or very small. Though we do sometimes see large companies without institutions on the register, it's not particularly common.

There are many reasons why a company might not have any institutions on the share registry. It may be hard for institutions to buy large amounts of shares, if liquidity (the amount of shares traded each day) is low. If the company has not needed to raise capital, institutions might lack the opportunity to build a position. It is also possible that fund managers don't own the stock because they aren't convinced it will perform well. PyroGenesis Canada'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 PyroGenesis Canada. With a 42% stake, CEO Photis Pascali is the largest shareholder. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 7.4% and 4.3% of the stock.

A more detailed study of the shareholder registry showed us that 3 of the top shareholders have a considerable amount of ownership in the company, via their 54% stake.

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 as we can tell there isn't analyst coverage of the company, so it is probably flying under the radar.

Insider Ownership Of PyroGenesis Canada

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. 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.

Our most recent data indicates that insiders own the majority of PyroGenesis Canada Inc.. This means they can collectively make decisions for the company. That means they own CA$248m worth of shares in the CA$490m company. That's quite meaningful. 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

The general public-- including retail investors -- own 44% stake in the company, and hence can't easily be ignored. 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

We can see that Private Companies own 4.3%, of the shares on issue. 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 PyroGenesis Canada better, we need to consider many other factors. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 2 warning signs with PyroGenesis Canada , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

Of course this may not be the best stock to buy. Therefore, you may wish to see our free collection of interesting prospects boasting favorable financials.

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.