Can We See Significant Institutional Ownership On The Continental Aktiengesellschaft (ETR:CON) Share Register?

The big shareholder groups in Continental Aktiengesellschaft (ETR:CON) have power over the company. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.

Continental has a market capitalization of €22b, 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 institutional investors have bought into the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Continental.

View our latest analysis for Continental

XTRA:CON Ownership Summary, February 19th 2020
XTRA:CON Ownership Summary, February 19th 2020

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Continental?

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.

As you can see, institutional investors own 23% of Continental. 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. If multiple institutions change their view on a stock at the same time, you could see the share price drop fast. It’s therefore worth looking at Continental’s earnings history, below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

XTRA:CON Income Statement, February 19th 2020
XTRA:CON Income Statement, February 19th 2020

Hedge funds don’t have many shares in Continental. INA-Holding Schaeffler GmbH & Co. KG is currently the largest shareholder, with 46% of shares outstanding. The second and third largest shareholders are Harris Associates L.P. and BlackRock, Inc., holding 5.0% and 2.9%, respectively.

Further, we found that the top 2 shareholders have a combined ownership of 51% in the company, meaning that they are powerful enough to influence the decisions of 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. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of Continental

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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.

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 information suggests that Continental Aktiengesellschaft insiders own under 1% of the company. We do note, however, it is possible insiders have an indirect interest through a private company or other corporate structure. It is a very large company, so it would be surprising to see insiders own a large proportion of the company. Though their holding amounts to less than 1%, we can see that board members collectively own €8.8m worth of shares (at current prices). In this sort of situation, it can be more interesting to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public holds a 31% stake in CON. 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

We can see that Private Companies own 46%, 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.

Next Steps:

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 Continental is showing 1 warning sign in our investment analysis , you should know about…

If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its 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.

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.

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