A look at the shareholders of Seaboard Corporation (NYSEMKT:SEB) can tell us which group is most powerful. 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.
With a market capitalization of US$3.2b, Seaboard is rather large. We’d expect to see institutional investors on the register. Companies of this size are usually well known to retail investors, too. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions own shares in the company. Let’s take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about Seaboard.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Seaboard?
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.
We can see that Seaboard does have institutional investors; and they hold a good portion of the company’s stock. This can indicate that the company has a certain degree of credibility in the investment community. However, it is best to be wary of relying on the supposed validation that comes with institutional investors. They too, get it wrong sometimes. 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 Seaboard’s earnings history below. Of course, the future is what really matters.
Hedge funds don’t have many shares in Seaboard. Seaboard Flour LLC is currently the company’s largest shareholder with 40% of shares outstanding. With 4.4% and 3.1% of the shares outstanding respectively, FMR LLC and Dimensional Fund Advisors L.P. are the second and third largest shareholders.
Our research also brought to light the fact that roughly 51% of the company is controlled by the top 5 shareholders suggesting that these owners wield significant influence on the business.
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 I can tell there isn’t analyst coverage of the company, so it is probably flying under the radar.
Insider Ownership Of Seaboard
While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. 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 data suggests that insiders own under 1% of Seaboard Corporation in their own names. However, it’s possible that insiders might have an indirect interest through a more complex structure. It is a pretty big company, so it would be possible for board members to own a meaningful interest in the company, without owning much of a proportional interest. In this case, they own around US$406k worth of shares (at current prices). It is always good to see at least some insider ownership, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.
General Public Ownership
The general public holds a 42% stake in Seaboard. 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
Our data indicates that Private Companies hold 40%, 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.
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. Case in point: We’ve spotted 3 warning signs for Seaboard you should be aware of, and 1 of them shouldn’t be ignored.
Of course this may not be the best stock to buy. Therefore, you may wish to see our free collection of interesting prospects boasting favorable financials.
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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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. 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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