Who Owns Most Of Xero Limited (ASX:XRO)?

Today, I will be analyzing Xero Limited’s (ASX:XRO) recent ownership structure, an important but not-so-popular subject among individual 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. The same amount of capital coming from an activist institution and a passive mutual fund has different implications on corporate governance, which is a decisive factor for a long-term investor. It also impacts the trading environment of company shares, which is more of a concern for short-term investors. Now I will analyze XRO’s shareholder registry in more detail.

View our latest analysis for Xero

ASX:XRO Ownership Summary August 7th 18
ASX:XRO Ownership Summary August 7th 18

Institutional Ownership

With an institutional ownership of 14.22%, XRO can face volatile stock price movements if institutions execute block trades on the open market, more so, when there are relatively small amounts of 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. Hedge funds, considered active investors, hold a 8.42% stake in the company, which may be the cause of high short-term volatility in the stock price. We should dig deeper into the company’s ownership structure to find how the rest of its ownership structure can impact its investment case.

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. A major group of owners of XRO is individual insiders, sitting with a hefty 24.93% stake in the company. Broadly, insider ownership of this level has been found to negatively affect companies with consistently low PE ratio (underperforming). And a positive impact has been seen on companies with a high PE ratio (outperforming). It may be interesting to take a look at what company insiders have been doing with their holdings lately. Insiders buying company shares can be a positive indicator of future performance, but a selling decision can simply be driven by personal financial needs.

General Public Ownership

A big stake of 51.99% in XRO 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.

Next Steps:

I suggest investors seek some degree of margin of safety due to high institutional ownership in XRO, in particular due to the strong presence of active hedge fund investors. This is to 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 XRO, 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 Xero’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 XRO’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for XRO’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has XRO 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 XRO’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.