Stock Analysis

How Many Loblaw Companies Limited (TSE:L) Shares Do Institutions Own?

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TSX:L
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If you want to know who really controls Loblaw Companies Limited (TSE:L), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Institutions will often hold stock in bigger companies, and we expect to see insiders owning a noticeable percentage of the smaller ones. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.

With a market capitalization of CA$23b, Loblaw Companies is rather large. We'd expect to see institutional investors on the register. Companies of this size are usually well known to retail investors, too. In the chart below, we can see that institutions own shares in the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Loblaw Companies.

View our latest analysis for Loblaw Companies

ownership-breakdown
TSX:L Ownership Breakdown January 18th 2021

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Loblaw Companies?

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.

As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in Loblaw Companies. 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. When multiple institutions own a stock, there's always a risk that they are in a 'crowded trade'. When such a trade goes wrong, multiple parties may compete to sell stock fast. This risk is higher in a company without a history of growth. You can see Loblaw Companies' historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
TSX:L Earnings and Revenue Growth January 18th 2021

Loblaw Companies is not owned by hedge funds. Looking at our data, we can see that the largest shareholder is Wittington Investments Limited with 49% of shares outstanding. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 2.3% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 1.4% by the third-largest shareholder.

After doing some more digging, we found that the top 2 shareholders collectively control more than half of the company's shares, implying that they have considerable power to influence the company's decisions.

Researching institutional ownership is a good way to gauge and filter a stock's expected performance. The same can be achieved by studying analyst sentiments. There are a reasonable number of analysts covering the stock, so it might be useful to find out their aggregate view on the future.

Insider Ownership Of Loblaw Companies

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. 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 most recent data indicates that insiders own less than 1% of Loblaw Companies Limited. We do note, however, it is possible insiders have an indirect interest through a private company or other corporate structure. Being so large, we would not expect insiders to own a large proportion of the stock. Collectively, they own CA$43m of stock. Arguably recent buying and selling is just as important to consider. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

With a 31% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over Loblaw Companies. 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 Company Ownership

Our data indicates that Private Companies hold 49%, of the company's shares. Private companies may be related parties. Sometimes insiders have an interest in a public company through a holding in a private company, rather than in their own capacity as an individual. While it's hard to draw any broad stroke conclusions, it is worth noting as an area for further research.

Next Steps:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Loblaw Companies better, we need to consider many other factors. Case in point: We've spotted 2 warning signs for Loblaw Companies you should be aware of.

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.

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About TSX:L

Loblaw Companies

Loblaw Companies Limited, a food and pharmacy company, engages in the grocery, pharmacy, health and beauty, apparel, general merchandise, financial services, and wireless mobile products and services businesses in Canada.

Solid track record with adequate balance sheet and pays a dividend.