What Kind Of Shareholder Owns Most Kier Group plc (LON:KIE) Stock?

Every investor in Kier Group plc (LON:KIE) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it’s not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of smaller companies. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.

With a market capitalization of UK£230m, Kier Group is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. 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 Kier Group.

Check out our latest analysis for Kier Group

LSE:KIE Ownership Summary, February 24th 2020
LSE:KIE Ownership Summary, February 24th 2020

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Kier Group?

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.

We can see that Kier Group 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. 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 Kier Group’s historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.

LSE:KIE Income Statement, February 24th 2020
LSE:KIE Income Statement, February 24th 2020

Institutional investors own over 50% of the company, so together than can probably strongly influence board decisions. Hedge funds don’t have many shares in Kier Group. Standard Life Aberdeen plc is currently the company’s largest shareholder with 16% of shares outstanding. With 11% and 7.5% of the shares outstanding respectively, M&G Investment Management Limited and Hargreaves Lansdown Asset Management Limited are the second and third largest shareholders.

On studying the facts and figures more closely, we found that 7 of the top shareholders account for 51% of the register, implying that along with larger shareholders, there are a few smaller shareholders, thereby balancing out each others interests somewhat.

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 Kier Group

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.

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 Kier Group plc insiders own under 1% of the company. It appears that the board holds about UK£100k worth of stock. This compares to a market capitalization of UK£230m. Many investors in smaller companies prefer to see the board more heavily invested. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

With a 15% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over KIE. 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.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Take risks, for example – Kier Group has 3 warning signs (and 1 which is a bit unpleasant) we think you should know about.

Ultimately the future is most important. You can access this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

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.