What Kind Of Shareholder Appears On The REA Group Limited’s (ASX:REA) Shareholder Register?

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The big shareholder groups in REA Group Limited (ASX:REA) have power over the company. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.

REA Group has a market capitalization of AU$11b, so it’s too big to fly under the radar. We’d expect to see both institutions and retail investors owning a portion of the company. In the chart below below, we can see that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let’s delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about REA.

View our latest analysis for REA Group

ASX:REA Ownership Summary, May 9th 2019
ASX:REA Ownership Summary, May 9th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About REA Group?

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.

We can see that REA Group does have institutional investors; and they hold 18% of the stock. 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. When multiple institutions own a stock, there’s always a risk that they are in a ‘crowded trade’. When such a trade goes wrong, multiple parties may compete to sell stock fast. This risk is higher in a company without a history of growth. You can see REA Group’s historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.

ASX:REA Income Statement, May 9th 2019
ASX:REA Income Statement, May 9th 2019

REA Group is not owned by hedge funds. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

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.

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 data suggests that insiders own under 1% of REA Group Limited in their own names. Keep in mind that it’s a big company, and the insiders own AU$49m 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, with a 20% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. 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

It appears to us that public companies own 62% of REA. This may be a strategic interest and the two companies may have related business interests. It could be that they have de-merged. This holding is probably worth investigating further.

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.

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 would prefer discover what analysts are predicting in terms of future growth, do not miss this free report on analyst forecasts.

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.