If you want to know who really controls Atlas Salt Inc. (CVE:SALT), 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.
With a market capitalization of CA$149m, Atlas Salt is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. In the chart below, we can see that institutions don't own many shares in the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Atlas Salt.
What Does The Lack Of Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Atlas Salt?
Institutional investors often avoid companies that are too small, too illiquid or too risky for their tastes. But it's unusual to see larger companies without any institutional investors.
There are multiple explanations for why institutions don't own a stock. The most common is that the company is too small relative to funds under management, so the institution does not bother to look closely at the company. Alternatively, there might be something about the company that has kept institutional investors away. Atlas Salt'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.
Atlas Salt is not owned by hedge funds. The company's largest shareholder is Vulcan Minerals Inc., with ownership of 36%. Meanwhile, the second and third largest shareholders, hold 4.2% and 0.8%, of the shares outstanding, respectively. Interestingly, the bottom two of the top three shareholders also hold the title of Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors, respectively, suggesting that these insiders have a personal stake in the company.
A deeper look at our ownership data shows that the top 8 shareholders collectively hold less than half of the register, suggesting a large group of small holders where no single shareholder has a majority.
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. 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 Atlas Salt
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.
Shareholders would probably be interested to learn that insiders own shares in Atlas Salt Inc.. It has a market capitalization of just CA$149m, and insiders have CA$8.6m worth of shares, in their own names. It is good to see some investment by insiders, but we usually like to see higher insider holdings. It might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.
General Public Ownership
The general public, mostly comprising of individual investors, collectively holds 56% of Atlas Salt 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.
Public Company Ownership
It appears to us that public companies own 36% of Atlas Salt. This may be a strategic interest and the two companies may have related business interests. It could be that they have de-merged. This holding is probably worth investigating further.
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. Like risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 4 warning signs for Atlas Salt (of which 2 are a bit unpleasant!) you should know about.
If you would prefer check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of interesting companies, backed by strong financial data.
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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