If you want to know who really controls ioneer Ltd (ASX:INR), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it's not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of smaller companies. I quite like to see at least a little bit of insider ownership. As Charlie Munger said 'Show me the incentive and I will show you the outcome.
ioneer is a smaller company with a market capitalization of AU$641m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions are not really that prevalent on the share registry. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about ioneer.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About ioneer?
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.
Since institutions own only a small portion of ioneer, many may not have spent much time considering the stock. But it's clear that some have; and they liked it enough to buy in. If the business gets stronger from here, we could see a situation where more institutions are keen to buy. We sometimes see a rising share price when a few big institutions want to buy a certain stock at the same time. The history of earnings and revenue, which you can see below, could be helpful in considering if more institutional investors will want the stock. Of course, there are plenty of other factors to consider, too.
It would appear that 9.2% of ioneer shares are controlled by hedge funds. That worth noting, since hedge funds are often quite active investors, who may try to influence management. Many want to see value creation (and a higher share price) in the short term or medium term. GSCO - ECA Resource Geologic Partners is currently the largest shareholder, with 9.5% of shares outstanding. With 9.2% and 4.0% of the shares outstanding respectively, Centaurus Capital Limited and Craig Mathieson are the second and third largest shareholders. Furthermore, CEO Bernard Rowe is the owner of 3.6% of the company's shares.
A deeper look at our ownership data shows that the top 25 shareholders collectively hold less than half of the register, suggesting a large group of small holders where no single shareholder has a majority.
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. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.
Insider Ownership Of ioneer
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.
Most consider insider ownership a positive because it can indicate the board is well aligned with other shareholders. However, on some occasions too much power is concentrated within this group.
Our most recent data indicates that insiders own a reasonable proportion of ioneer Ltd. Insiders own AU$97m worth of shares in the AU$641m company. I would say this shows alignment with shareholders, but it is worth noting that the company is still quite small; some insiders may have founded the business. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.
General Public Ownership
The general public -- mostly retail investors -- own 53% of ioneer. With this size of ownership, retail investors can collectively play a role in decisions that affect shareholder returns, such as dividend policies and the appointment of directors. They can also exercise the power to decline an acquisition or merger that may not improve profitability.
Private Company Ownership
We can see that Private Companies own 20%, of the shares on issue. Private companies may be related parties. Sometimes insiders have an interest in a public company through a holding in a private company, rather than in their own capacity as an individual. While it's hard to draw any broad stroke conclusions, it is worth noting as an area for further research.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. For example, we've discovered 4 warning signs for ioneer (1 is significant!) that you should be aware of before investing here.
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.
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