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Do Institutions Own ASOS Plc (LON:ASC) Shares?

Simply Wall St

Every investor in ASOS Plc (LON:ASC) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. 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.

ASOS has a market capitalization of UK£3.2b, so it's too big to fly under the radar. We'd expect to see both institutions and retail investors owning a portion of the company. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it's seems that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let's delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about ASC.

Check out our latest analysis for ASOS

AIM:ASC Ownership Summary, April 23rd 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About ASOS?

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.

As you can see, institutional investors own 49% of ASOS. 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 ASOS, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

AIM:ASC Income Statement, April 23rd 2019

Our data indicates that hedge funds own 5.9% of ASOS. That's interesting, because hedge funds can be quite active and activist. Many look for medium term catalysts that will drive the share price higher. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of ASOS

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. The company management answer to the board; and the latter should represent the interests of shareholders. Notably, sometimes top-level managers are on the board, themselves.

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 some shares in ASOS Plc. It is a pretty big company, so it is generally a positive to see some potentially meaningful alignment. In this case, they own around UK£186m worth of shares (at current prices). Most would say this shows alignment of interests between shareholders and the board. Still, it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.

General Public Ownership

With a 12% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over ASC. 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

It seems that Private Companies own 27%, of the ASC stock. It might be worth looking deeper into this. If related parties, such as insiders, have an interest in one of these private companies, that should be disclosed in the annual report. Private companies may also have a strategic interest in the company.

Next Steps:

I find it very interesting to look at who exactly owns a company. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too.

I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can find historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.

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.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.