Every investor in Metcash Limited (ASX:MTS) 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. Companies that used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.
Metcash has a market capitalization of AU$2.9b, so we would expect some institutional investors to have noticed the stock. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutional investors have bought into the company. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about Metcash.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Metcash?
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.
Metcash already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. This can indicate that the company has a certain degree of credibility in the investment community. However, it is best to be wary of relying on the supposed validation that comes with institutional investors. They too, get it wrong sometimes. 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 Metcash's earnings history below. Of course, the future is what really matters.
Institutional investors own over 50% of the company, so together than can probably strongly influence board decisions. Metcash is not owned by hedge funds. Our data shows that Pendal Group Limited is the largest shareholder with 12% of shares outstanding. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 11% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 4.7% by the third-largest shareholder.
On further inspection, we found that more than half the company's shares are owned by the top 8 shareholders, suggesting that the interests of the larger shareholders are balanced out to an extent by the smaller ones.
While studying institutional ownership for a company can add value to your research, it is also a good practice to research analyst recommendations to get a deeper understand of a stock's expected performance. 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 Metcash
While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. 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.
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 most recent data indicates that insiders own less than 1% of Metcash Limited. It's a big company, so even a small proportional interest can create alignment between the board and shareholders. In this case insiders own AU$3.5m worth of shares. 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, with a 28% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. While this size of ownership may not be enough to sway a policy decision in their favour, they can still make a collective impact on company policies.
It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Metcash better, we need to consider many other factors. To that end, you should be aware of the 2 warning signs we've spotted with Metcash .
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.
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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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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