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Could The X Financial (NYSE:XYF) Ownership Structure Tell Us Something Useful?

Every investor in X Financial (NYSE:XYF) 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. I quite like to see at least a little bit of insider ownership. As Charlie Munger said 'Show me the incentive and I will show you the outcome.

X Financial is a smaller company with a market capitalization of US$155m, 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 institutions are not really that prevalent on the share registry. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about X Financial.

ownership-breakdown
NYSE:XYF Ownership Breakdown January 25th 2022

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About X Financial?

Institutional investors commonly compare their own returns to the returns of a commonly followed index. So they generally do consider buying larger companies that are included in the relevant benchmark index.

Less than 5% of X Financial is held by institutional investors. This suggests that some funds have the company in their sights, but many have not yet bought shares in it. So if the company itself can improve over time, we may well see more institutional buyers in the future. We sometimes see a rising share price when a few big institutions want to buy a certain stock at the same time. The history of earnings and revenue, which you can see below, could be helpful in considering if more institutional investors will want the stock. Of course, there are plenty of other factors to consider, too.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
NYSE:XYF Earnings and Revenue Growth January 25th 2022

Hedge funds don't have many shares in X Financial. Looking at our data, we can see that the largest shareholder is the CEO Yue Tang with 32% of shares outstanding. With 12% and 8.6% of the shares outstanding respectively, Chow Tai Fook Capital Limited and Baoguo Zhu are the second and third largest shareholders.

After doing some more digging, we found that the top 3 shareholders collectively control more than half of the company's shares, implying that they have considerable power to influence the company's decisions.

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 X Financial

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 the majority of X Financial. This means they can collectively make decisions for the company. Given it has a market cap of US$155m, that means they have US$85m worth of shares. Most would be pleased to see the board is investing alongside them. You may wish todiscover (for free) if they have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, who are usually individual investors, hold a 32% stake in X Financial. While this size of ownership may not be enough to sway a policy decision in their favour, they can still make a collective impact on company policies.

Private Company Ownership

Our data indicates that Private Companies hold 12%, of the company's shares. It's hard to draw any conclusions from this fact alone, so its worth looking into who owns those private companies. Sometimes insiders or other related parties have an interest in shares in a public company through a separate private 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. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 4 warning signs with X Financial (at least 1 which is concerning) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies.

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.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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