The Stockland (ASX:SGP) Ownership Structure Could Be Important

In this article, I will take a quick look at Stockland’s (ASX:SGP) recent ownership structure – an unconventional investing subject, but an important one. A company’s ownership structure is often linked to its share performance in both the long- and short-term. 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 SGP’s ownership structure in more detail.

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ASX:SGP Ownership Summary August 29th 18
ASX:SGP Ownership Summary August 29th 18

Institutional Ownership

In SGP’s case, institutional ownership stands at 44.8%, significant enough to cause considerable price moves in the case of large institutional transactions, especially when there is a low level of public shares available on the market to trade. These moves, at least in the short-term, are generally observed in an institutional ownership mix comprising of active stock pickers, in particular levered hedge funds, which can cause large price swings. In the case of SGP, investors need not worry about such volatility considering active hedge funds don’t have a significant stake. However, we should dig deeper into SGP’s ownership structure and find out how other key ownership classes can affect its investment profile.

Insider Ownership

I find insiders are an important group of stakeholders, who are directly involved in making key decisions related to the use of capital. In essence, insider ownership is more about the alignment of shareholders’ interests with the management. SGP insiders may only hold a a minor stake in the company, but this is a relatively significant holding given it is a large-cap stock. A higher level of insider ownership has been linked to management executing on high-returning projects instead of expansion projects for the sake of apparent growth. In addition to this, it may be interesting to look at insider buying and selling activities. Keep in mind that buying may be sign of upbeat future expectations, but selling doesn’t necessarily mean the opposite as the insiders might just be doing it out of their personal financial needs.
ASX:SGP Insider Trading August 29th 18
ASX:SGP Insider Trading August 29th 18

General Public Ownership

A big stake of 54.5% in SGP is held by the general public. This level of ownership gives retail investors the power to sway key policy decisions such as board composition, executive compensation, and potential acquisitions. This is a positive sign for an investor who wants to be involved in key decision-making of the company.

Private Company Ownership

Potential investors in SGP should also look at another important group of investors: private companies, with a stake of 0.5%, who are primarily invested because of strategic and capital gain interests. However, an ownership of this size may be relatively insignificant, meaning that these shareholders may not have the potential to influence SGP’s business strategy. Thus, investors not need worry too much about the consequences of these holdings.

Next Steps:

The company’s high institutional ownership makes margin of safety a very important consideration to existing investors since long bull and bear trends often emerge when these big-ticket investors see a change in long-term potential of the company. This will enable shareholders to comfortably invest in the company while avoid getting trapped in a sustained sell-off that is often observed in stocks with this level of institutional participation. However, if you are building an investment case for SGP, ownership structure alone should not dictate your decision to buy or sell the stock. Instead, you should be evaluating company-specific factors such as the intrinsic valuation, which is a key driver of Stockland’s share price. I highly recommend you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for SGP’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for SGP’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has SGP 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 SGP’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. 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.

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.

To help readers see past 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 editorial-team@simplywallst.com.