I am going to take a deep dive into Broken Hill Prospecting Limited’s (ASX:BPL) most recent ownership structure, not a frequent subject of discussion among individual investors. Ownership structure of a company has been found to affect share performance over time. If an activist institution invests the same amount of capital in a stock as a passive long-term pension fund, the implications are potentially different for key corporate financing decisions such as the use of excess cash or the source of financing. While these are more of a long-term investor’s concern, short-term investors may find the impact of institutional trading overwhelming enough to lose out on what could be a potential opportunity. Therefore, it is beneficial for us to examine BPL’s ownership structure in more detail.
Institutional OwnershipInstitutional investors are one of the largest group of market participants and their buy-sell decisions on a company’s stock can significantly impact prices, more so, when there are relatively small amounts of shares available on the market to trade. A low institutional ownership of 1.08% puts BPL on a list of companies that are not likely exposed to spikes in volatility resulting from institutional trading.
Insider OwnershipAn important group of shareholders are company insiders. Insider ownership has to do more with how the company is managed and less to do with the direct impact of the magnitude of shares trading on the market. A major group of owners of BPL is individual insiders, sitting with a hefty 19.42% stake in the company. Broadly, insider ownership of this level has been found to negatively affect companies with consistently low PE ratio (underperforming). And a positive impact has been seen on companies with a high PE ratio (outperforming). It’s also interesting to learn what BPL insiders have been doing with their shareholdings lately. Insiders buying company shares can be a positive indicator of future performance, but a selling decision can simply be driven by personal financial needs.
General Public OwnershipA big stake of 45.68% in BPL is held by the general public. This size of ownership gives retail investors collective power in deciding on major policy decisions such as executive compensation, appointment of directors and acquisitions of businesses.
Private Company OwnershipAnother group of owners that a potential investor in BPL should consider are private companies, with a stake of 33.83%. While they invest more often due to strategic interests, an investment can also be driven by capital gains through share price appreciation. An ownership of this size indicates a strong financial backing and has the potential to influence BPL’s business strategy. Thus, investors should dig deeper into BPL’s business relations with these companies and how it can affect shareholder returns in the long-term.
With a low level of institutional ownership, investors in BPL need not worry about non-fundamental factors such as ownership structure causing large impact on stock prices. However, ownership structure should not be the only determining factor when you’re building an investment thesis for BPL. Instead, you should be evaluating company-specific factors such as Broken Hill Prospecting’s past track record and financial health. I urge you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:
- Financial Health: Is BPL’s operations financially sustainable? Balance sheets can be hard to analyze, which is why we’ve done it for you. Check out our financial health checks here.
- Past Track Record: Has BPL been consistently performing well irrespective of the ups and downs in the market? Go into more detail in the past performance analysis and take a look at the free visual representations of BPL’s historicals for more clarity.
- Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.
To help readers see pass the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price sensitive company announcements.
The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.