Can We See Significant Institutional Ownership On The REA Group Limited (ASX:REA) Share Register?

If you want to know who really controls REA Group Limited (ASX:REA), 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. Companies that used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.

REA Group is a pretty big company. It has a market capitalization of AU$10b. Normally institutions would own a significant portion of a company this size. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let’s take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about REA.

View our latest analysis for REA Group

ASX:REA Ownership Summary, April 8th 2019
ASX:REA Ownership Summary, April 8th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About REA Group?

Institutions typically measure themselves against a benchmark when reporting to their own investors, so they often become more enthusiastic about a stock once it’s included in a major index. We would expect most companies to have some institutions on the register, especially if they are growing.

REA Group already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 19% of the company. 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. 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 REA Group, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

ASX:REA Income Statement, April 8th 2019
ASX:REA Income Statement, April 8th 2019

REA Group is not owned by hedge funds. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of REA Group

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 REA Group Limited. Keep in mind that it’s a big company, and the insiders own AU$46m 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 holds a 19% stake in REA. This size of ownership, while considerable, may not be enough to change company policy if the decision is not in sync with other large shareholders.

Public Company Ownership

Public companies currently own 62% of REA stock. It’s hard to say for sure, but this suggests they have entwined business interests. This might be a strategic stake, so it’s worth watching this space for changes in ownership.

Next Steps:

It’s always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand REA Group better, we need to consider many other factors.

Many find it useful to take an in depth look at how a company has performed in the past. You can access this detailed graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow .

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.

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.