Can We See Significant Institutional Ownership On The Crédit Agricole S.A. (EPA:ACA) Share Register?

If you want to know who really controls Crédit Agricole S.A. (EPA:ACA), then you’ll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.

With a market capitalization of €30b, Crédit Agricole 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 below, we can see that institutional investors have bought into the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about ACA.

View our latest analysis for Crédit Agricole

ENXTPA:ACA Ownership Summary, March 9th 2019
ENXTPA:ACA Ownership Summary, March 9th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Crédit Agricole?

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.

We can see that Crédit Agricole does have institutional investors; and they hold 14% of the stock. This can indicate that the company has a certain degree of credibility in the investment community. However, it is best to be wary of relying on the supposed validation that comes with institutional investors. They too, get it wrong sometimes. 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 Crédit Agricole’s historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.

ENXTPA:ACA Income Statement, March 9th 2019
ENXTPA:ACA Income Statement, March 9th 2019

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

Insider Ownership Of Crédit Agricole

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.

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 most recent data indicates that insiders own less than 1% of Crédit Agricole S.A.. However, it’s possible that insiders might have an indirect interest through a more complex structure. It is a very large company, so it would be surprising to see insiders own a large proportion of the company. Though their holding amount to less than 1%, we can see that board members collectively own €700k worth of shares (at current prices). It is good to see board members owning shares, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 25% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. 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

It seems that Private Companies own 56%, of the ACA stock. 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:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important.

I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can access this interactive graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow, for free .

If you would prefer discover what analysts are predicting in terms of future growth, do not miss this free report on analyst forecasts.

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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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.