What Kind Of Shareholder Appears On The Spire Inc.’s (NYSE:SR) Shareholder Register?

Every investor in Spire Inc. (NYSE:SR) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. We also tend to see lower insider ownership in companies that were previously publicly owned.

Spire has a market capitalization of US$4.1b, 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 institutions own shares in the company. Let’s take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about Spire.

Check out our latest analysis for Spire

NYSE:SR Ownership Summary, March 3rd 2020
NYSE:SR Ownership Summary, March 3rd 2020

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Spire?

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.

We can see that Spire does have institutional investors; and they hold 84% of the stock. 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 Spire, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

NYSE:SR Income Statement, March 3rd 2020
NYSE:SR Income Statement, March 3rd 2020

Institutional investors own over 50% of the company, so together than can probably strongly influence board decisions. Spire is not owned by hedge funds. Our data shows that BlackRock, Inc. is the largest shareholder with 12% of shares outstanding. The second and third largest shareholders are The Vanguard Group, Inc. and American Century Investment Management Inc., holding 11% and 8.5%, respectively.

Additionally, we found that the top 12 have the combined ownership of 51% in the company, suggesting that no one share holder has significant control over 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. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of Spire

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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 Spire Inc. in their own names. We do note, however, it is possible insiders have an indirect interest through a private company or other corporate 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$33m 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, with a 13% 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.

Next Steps:

It’s always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Spire better, we need to consider many other factors. Be aware that Spire is showing 2 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those is potentially serious…

But ultimately it is the future, not the past, that will determine how well the owners of this business will do. Therefore we think it advisable to take a look at this free report showing whether analysts are predicting a brighter 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.

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.