What Kind Of Shareholder Appears On The ESR-REIT’s (SGX:J91U) Shareholder Register?

If you want to know who really controls ESR-REIT (SGX:J91U), then you’ll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Institutions will often hold stock in bigger companies, and we expect to see insiders owning a noticeable percentage of the smaller ones. 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.

ESR-REIT isn’t enormous, but it’s not particularly small either. It has a market capitalization of S$1.2b, which means it would generally expect to see some institutions on the share registry. In the chart below, we can see that institutional investors have bought into the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about ESR-REIT.

Check out our latest analysis for ESR-REIT

SGX:J91U Ownership Summary May 8th 2020
SGX:J91U Ownership Summary May 8th 2020

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About ESR-REIT?

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 17% of ESR-REIT. 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. It is not uncommon to see a big share price drop if two large institutional investors try to sell out of a stock at the same time. So it is worth checking the past earnings trajectory of ESR-REIT, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

SGX:J91U Income Statement May 8th 2020
SGX:J91U Income Statement May 8th 2020

ESR-REIT is not owned by hedge funds. Jinquan Tong is currently the company’s largest shareholder with 23% of shares outstanding. ESR Cayman Limited is the second largest shareholder with 8.0% of common stock, followed by Deutsche Bank, Private Banking and Investment Banking Investments, holding 6.8% of the stock.

A closer look at our ownership figures suggests that the top 17 shareholders have a combined ownership of 50% implying that no one share holder 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. There are a reasonable number of analysts covering the stock, so it might be useful to find out their aggregate view on the future.

Insider Ownership Of ESR-REIT

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 information suggests that insiders maintain a significant holding in ESR-REIT. Insiders own S$296m worth of shares in the S$1.2b company. It is great to see insiders so invested in the business. It might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying recently.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 48% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. While this group can’t necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

Public Company Ownership

It appears to us that public companies own 8.7% of J91U. 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.

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. Like risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we’ve spotted 4 warning signs for ESR-REIT (of which 2 are concerning!) 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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