What Kind Of Shareholders Hold The Majority In BKW AG's (VTX:BKW) Shares?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
February 28, 2021
SWX:BKW

A look at the shareholders of BKW AG (VTX:BKW) can tell us which group is most powerful. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.

BKW is a pretty big company. It has a market capitalization of CHF5.3b. Normally institutions would own a significant portion of a company this size. In the chart below, we can see that institutions own shares in the company. Let's delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about BKW.

View our latest analysis for BKW

ownership-breakdown
SWX:BKW Ownership Breakdown March 1st 2021

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About BKW?

Institutional investors commonly compare their own returns to the returns of a commonly followed index. So they generally do consider buying larger companies that are included in the relevant benchmark index.

We can see that BKW does have institutional investors; and they hold a good portion of the company's stock. 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 BKW's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
SWX:BKW Earnings and Revenue Growth March 1st 2021

BKW is not owned by hedge funds. Our data shows that Kanton Bern is the largest shareholder with 53% of shares outstanding. With such a huge stake in the ownership, we infer that they have significant control of the future of the company. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 10% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 1.1% by the third-largest shareholder.

While it makes sense to study institutional ownership data for a company, it also makes sense to study analyst sentiments to know which way the wind is blowing. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of BKW

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.

Most consider insider ownership a positive because it can indicate the board is well aligned with other shareholders. However, on some occasions too much power is concentrated within this group.

Our data suggests that insiders own under 1% of BKW AG in their own names. But they may have an indirect interest through a corporate structure that we haven't picked up on. Keep in mind that it's a big company, and the insiders own CHF12m worth of shares. The absolute value might be more important than the proportional share. It is good to see board members owning shares, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.

General Public Ownership

With a 25% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over BKW. This size of ownership, while considerable, may not be enough to change company policy if the decision is not in sync with other large shareholders.

Private Company Ownership

We can see that Private Companies own 10%, of the shares on issue. It might be worth looking deeper into this. If related parties, such as insiders, have an interest in one of these private companies, that should be disclosed in the annual report. Private companies may also have a strategic interest in the company.

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. Take risks for example - BKW has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.

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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