What Kind Of Shareholders Own Qantas Airways Limited (ASX:QAN)?

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Every investor in Qantas Airways Limited (ASX:QAN) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Institutions will often hold stock in bigger companies, and we expect to see insiders owning a noticeable percentage of the smaller ones. Companies that used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.

Qantas Airways has a market capitalization of AU$8.4b, 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 take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about QAN.

See our latest analysis for Qantas Airways

ASX:QAN Ownership Summary, June 7th 2019
ASX:QAN Ownership Summary, June 7th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Qantas Airways?

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.

Qantas Airways already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 45% 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 Qantas Airways, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

ASX:QAN Income Statement, June 7th 2019
ASX:QAN Income Statement, June 7th 2019

Hedge funds don’t have many shares in Qantas Airways. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of Qantas Airways

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

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 information suggests that Qantas Airways Limited insiders own under 1% of the company. It is a pretty big company, so it would be possible for board members to own a meaningful interest in the company, without owning much of a proportional interest. In this case, they own around AU$29m worth of shares (at current prices). It is always good to see at least some insider ownership, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, who are mostly retail investors, collectively hold 53% of Qantas Airways shares. With this size of ownership, retail investors can collectively play a role in decisions that affect shareholder returns, such as dividend policies and the appointment of directors. They can also exercise the power to decline an acquisition or merger that may not improve profitability.

Next Steps:

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

I always like to check for a history of revenue growth. You can too, by accessing this free chart of historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.

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.