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Every investor in IRIDEX Corporation (NASDAQ:IRIX) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. We also tend to see lower insider ownership in companies that were previously publicly owned.
With a market capitalization of US$114m, IRIDEX is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it seems that institutional investors have bought into the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about IRIDEX.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About IRIDEX?
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.
IRIDEX already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. 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. When multiple institutions own a stock, there's always a risk that they are in a 'crowded trade'. When such a trade goes wrong, multiple parties may compete to sell stock fast. This risk is higher in a company without a history of growth. You can see IRIDEX's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.
Hedge funds don't have many shares in IRIDEX. Topcon Corporation is currently the largest shareholder, with 10% of shares outstanding. Meanwhile, the second and third largest shareholders, hold 6.8% and 5.0%, of the shares outstanding, respectively.
A deeper look at our ownership data shows that the top 25 shareholders collectively hold less than half of the register, suggesting a large group of small holders where no single shareholder has a majority.
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. While there is some analyst coverage, the company is probably not widely covered. So it could gain more attention, down the track.
Insider Ownership Of IRIDEX
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.
Most consider insider ownership a positive because it can indicate the board is well aligned with other shareholders. However, on some occasions too much power is concentrated within this group.
Our most recent data indicates that insiders own some shares in IRIDEX Corporation. As individuals, the insiders collectively own US$1.6m worth of the US$114m company. It is good to see some investment by insiders, but I usually like to see higher insider holdings. It might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.
General Public Ownership
The general public collectively holds 56% of IRIDEX shares. With this amount of ownership, retail investors can collectively play a role in decisions that affect shareholder returns, such as dividend policies and the appointment of directors. They can also exercise the power to vote on acquisitions or mergers that may not improve profitability.
Private Company Ownership
It seems that Private Companies own 6.8%, of the IRIDEX stock. 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.
Public Company Ownership
Public companies currently own 10% of IRIDEX stock. 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. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 2 warning signs with IRIDEX , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
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.
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.
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