If you want to know who really controls Aspen Group (ASX:APZ), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. The group holding the most number of shares in the company, around 42% to be precise, is individual investors. That is, the group stands to benefit the most if the stock rises (or lose the most if there is a downturn).
Meanwhile, institutions make up 27% of the company's shareholders. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders.
Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about Aspen Group.
See our latest analysis for Aspen Group
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Aspen Group?
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.
As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in Aspen Group. 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. 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 Aspen Group, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.
It looks like hedge funds own 11% of Aspen Group shares. 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. Our data shows that Brahman Capital Management Pte. Ltd. is the largest shareholder with 11% of shares outstanding. Cooper Investors Pty Limited is the second largest shareholder owning 9.4% of common stock, and Moelis Australia Asset Management Ltd holds about 4.6% of the company stock. Additionally, the company's CEO John Carter directly holds 4.3% of the total shares outstanding.
After doing some more digging, we found that the top 11 have the combined ownership of 50% in the company, suggesting that no single shareholder has significant control over the company.
While it makes sense to study institutional ownership data for a company, it also makes sense to study analyst sentiments to know which way the wind is blowing. There is some analyst coverage of the stock, but it could still become more well known, with time.
Insider Ownership Of Aspen Group
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.
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 a reasonable proportion of Aspen Group. It has a market capitalization of just AU$350m, and insiders have AU$49m worth of shares in their own names. 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
With a 42% ownership, the general public, mostly comprising of individual investors, have some degree of sway over Aspen Group. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.
Private Company Ownership
We can see that Private Companies own 7.0%, of the shares on issue. 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.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Be aware that Aspen Group is showing 5 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 2 of those don't sit too well with us...
But ultimately it is the future, not the past, that will determine how well the owners of this business will do. Therefore we think it advisable to take a look at this free report showing whether analysts are predicting a brighter future.
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.
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