Do Institutions Own Shares In Fortis Inc. (TSE:FTS)?

Every investor in Fortis Inc. (TSE:FTS) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.

With a market capitalization of CA$22b, Fortis 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. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it’s seems that institutional investors have bought into the company. Let’s delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about Fortis.

See our latest analysis for Fortis

TSX:FTS Ownership Summary, March 17th 2020
TSX:FTS Ownership Summary, March 17th 2020

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Fortis?

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 own 58% of Fortis. 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. When multiple institutions own a stock, there’s always a risk that they are in a ‘crowded trade’. When such a trade goes wrong, multiple parties may compete to sell stock fast. This risk is higher in a company without a history of growth. You can see Fortis’s historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.

TSX:FTS Income Statement, March 17th 2020
TSX:FTS Income Statement, March 17th 2020

Institutional investors own over 50% of the company, so together than can probably strongly influence board decisions. Fortis is not owned by hedge funds. The company’s largest shareholder is BMO Global Asset Management, with ownership of 4.4%, The second and third largest shareholders are RBC Dominion Securities Inc., Asset Management Arm and RBC Global Asset Management Inc., holding 3.4% and 3.3%, respectively.

Our studies suggest that the top 25 shareholders collectively control less than 50% of the company’s shares, meaning that the company’s shares are widely disseminated and there is no dominant shareholder.

While studying institutional ownership for a company can add value to your research, it is also a good practice to research analyst recommendations to get a deeper understand of a stock’s expected performance. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of Fortis

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.

Insider ownership is positive when it signals leadership are thinking like the true owners of the company. However, high insider ownership can also give immense power to a small group within the company. This can be negative in some circumstances.

Our information suggests that Fortis Inc. insiders own under 1% of the company. 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 CA$119m worth of shares (at current prices). It is good to see board members owning shares, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.

General Public Ownership

With a 42% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over FTS. 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.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Case in point: We’ve spotted 4 warning signs for Fortis you should be aware of, and 2 of them are a bit concerning.

If you would prefer discover what analysts are predicting in terms of future growth, do not miss this free report on analyst forecasts.

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.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.