What Kind Of Shareholders Own CSL Limited (ASX:CSL)?

The big shareholder groups in CSL Limited (ASX:CSL) have power over the company. 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 used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.

CSL is a pretty big company. It has a market capitalization of AU$138b. Normally institutions would own a significant portion of a company this size. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutional investors have bought into the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about CSL.

View our latest analysis for CSL

ASX:CSL Ownership Summary, January 22nd 2020
ASX:CSL Ownership Summary, January 22nd 2020

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About CSL?

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.

As you can see, institutional investors own 28% of CSL. This suggests some credibility amongst professional investors. But we can’t rely on that fact alone, since institutions make bad investments sometimes, just like everyone does. 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 CSL’s earnings history, below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

ASX:CSL Income Statement, January 22nd 2020
ASX:CSL Income Statement, January 22nd 2020

We note that hedge funds don’t have a meaningful investment in CSL. BlackRock, Inc. is currently the largest shareholder, with 6.0% of shares outstanding. With 5.1% and 1.2% of the shares outstanding respectively, The Vanguard Group, Inc. and Norges Bank Investment Management are the second and third largest shareholders.

On studying our ownership data, we found that 14 of the top shareholders collectively own less than 50% of the share register, implying that no single individual has a majority interest.

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 CSL

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 CSL Limited insiders own under 1% of the company. As it is a large company, we’d only expect insiders to own a small percentage of it. But it’s worth noting that they own AU$178m worth of shares. 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, mostly retail investors, hold a substantial 72% stake in CSL, suggesting it is a fairly popular stock. This level of ownership gives retail investors the power to sway key policy decisions such as board composition, executive compensation, and the dividend payout ratio.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We’ve identified 1 warning sign with CSL , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

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.