Do Institutions Own Shares In ALS Limited (ASX:ALQ)?

The big shareholder groups in ALS Limited (ASX:ALQ) have power over the company. 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.

ALS isn’t enormous, but it’s not particularly small either. It has a market capitalization of AU$3.9b, which means it would generally expect to see some institutions on the share registry. In the chart below below, we can see that institutions own shares in the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about ALQ.

View our latest analysis for ALS

ASX:ALQ Ownership Summary, February 26th 2019
ASX:ALQ Ownership Summary, February 26th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About ALS?

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 38% of ALS. 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 ALS, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

ASX:ALQ Income Statement, February 26th 2019
ASX:ALQ Income Statement, February 26th 2019

Hedge funds don’t have many shares in ALS. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of ALS

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. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

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 data suggests that insiders own under 1% of ALS Limited in their own names. However, it’s possible that insiders might have an indirect interest through a more complex structure. Keep in mind that it’s a big company, and the insiders own AU$4.0m worth of shares. The absolute value might be more important than the proportional share. Arguably, recent buying and selling is just as important to consider. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, mostly retail investors, hold a substantial 60% stake in ALQ, 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.

I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can access this interactive graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow, for free .

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.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.