Who Really Owns Vita Group Limited (ASX:VTG)?

In this article, I’m going to take a look at Vita Group Limited’s (ASX:VTG) latest ownership structure, a non-fundamental factor which is important, but remains a less discussed subject among investors. When it comes to ownership structure of a company, the impact has been observed in both the long-and short-term performance of shares. 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. Now I will analyze VTG’s shareholder registry in more detail.

See our latest analysis for Vita Group

ASX:VTG Ownership Summary August 11th 18
ASX:VTG Ownership Summary August 11th 18

Institutional Ownership

In VTG’s case, institutional ownership stands at 40.09%, 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. However, as not all institutions are alike, such high volatility events, especially in the short-term, have been more frequently linked to active market participants like hedge funds. In the case of VTG, investors need not worry about such volatility considering active hedge funds don’t have a significant stake. However, we should dig deeper into VTG’s ownership structure and find out how other key ownership classes can affect its investment profile.

Insider Ownership

An 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. 20.13% ownership of VTG insiders is large enough to make an impact on shareholder returns. In general, this level of insider ownership has negatively affected underperforming (consistently low PE ratio) companies and positively affected the companies that outperform (consistently high PE ratio). Another aspect of insider ownership is to learn about their recent transactions. While insider buying is possibly a sign of a positive outlook for the company, selling doesn’t necessarily indicate a negative outlook as they may be selling to meet personal financial needs.

General Public Ownership

A big stake of 37.64% in VTG is held by the general public. With this size of ownership, retail investors can collectively play a role in major company policies that affect shareholders returns, including executive remuneration 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

Another group of owners that a potential investor in VTG should consider are private companies, with a stake of 2.15%. While they invest more often due to strategic interests, an investment can also be driven by capital gains through share price appreciation. However, an ownership of this size may be relatively insignificant, meaning that these shareholders may not have the potential to influence VTG’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 allow investors to reduce the impact of non-fundamental factors, such as volatile block trading impact on their portfolio value. However, if you are building an investment case for VTG, ownership structure alone should not dictate your decision to buy or sell the stock. Rather, you should be looking at fundamental drivers such as the intrinsic valuation, which is a key driver of Vita Group’s share price. I urge you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

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