Here's What GFL Environmental Inc.'s (TSE:GFL) Shareholder Ownership Structure Looks Like

By
Simply Wall St
Published
May 06, 2021
TSX:GFL

Every investor in GFL Environmental Inc. (TSE:GFL) 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. I quite like to see at least a little bit of insider ownership. As Charlie Munger said 'Show me the incentive and I will show you the outcome.

GFL Environmental is a pretty big company. It has a market capitalization of CA$13b. Normally institutions would own a significant portion of a company this size. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutional investors have bought into the company. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about GFL Environmental.

Check out our latest analysis for GFL Environmental

ownership-breakdown
TSX:GFL Ownership Breakdown May 6th 2021

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About GFL Environmental?

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.

As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in GFL Environmental. 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 GFL Environmental, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
TSX:GFL Earnings and Revenue Growth May 6th 2021

We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in GFL Environmental. Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board is currently the largest shareholder, with 16% of shares outstanding. Meanwhile, the second and third largest shareholders, hold 14% and 7.8%, of the shares outstanding, respectively. Furthermore, CEO Patrick Dovigi is the owner of 3.7% of the company's shares.

On further inspection, we found that more than half the company's shares are owned by the top 8 shareholders, suggesting that the interests of the larger shareholders are balanced out to an extent by the smaller ones.

While studying institutional ownership for a company can add value to your research, it is also a good practice to research analyst recommendations to get a deeper understand of a stock's expected performance. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of GFL Environmental

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.

I generally consider insider ownership to be a good thing. However, on some occasions it makes it more difficult for other shareholders to hold the board accountable for decisions.

Shareholders would probably be interested to learn that insiders own shares in GFL Environmental Inc.. Insiders own CA$960m worth of shares (at current prices). I sometimes take an interest in whether they have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public holds a 29% stake in GFL Environmental. While this size of ownership may not be enough to sway a policy decision in their favour, they can still make a collective impact on company policies.

Private Equity Ownership

With an ownership of 14%, private equity firms are in a position to play a role in shaping corporate strategy with a focus on value creation. Some might like this, because private equity are sometimes activists who hold management accountable. But other times, private equity is selling out, having taking the company public.

Next Steps:

I find it very interesting to look at who exactly owns a company. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 1 warning sign with GFL Environmental , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

Ultimately the future is most important. You can access this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

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.

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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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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