Who Are The Major Shareholders Of Mitie Group plc (LON:MTO)?

I am going to take a deep dive into Mitie Group plc’s (LSE:MTO) most recent ownership structure, not a frequent subject of discussion among individual investors. Ownership structure has been found to have an impact on shareholder returns in both short- and long-term. If an activist institution invests the same amount of capital in a stock as a passive long-term pension fund, the implications are potentially different for key corporate financing decisions such as the use of excess cash or the source of financing. While these are more of a long-term investor’s concern, short-term investors may find the impact of institutional trading overwhelming enough to lose out on what could be a potential opportunity. Therefore, it is beneficial for us to examine MTO’s ownership structure in more detail.

See our latest analysis for Mitie Group
LSE:MTO Ownership_summary Mar 21st 18
LSE:MTO Ownership_summary Mar 21st 18

Institutional Ownership

With an institutional ownership of 78.17%, MTO can face volatile stock price movements if institutions execute block trades on the open market, more so, when there are relatively small amounts of shares available on the market to trade These moves, at least in the short-term, are generally observed in an institutional ownership mix comprising of active stock pickers, in particular levered hedge funds, which can cause large price swings. For shareholders in MTO, sharp price movements may not be a major concern as active hedge funds hold a relatively small stake in the company. Although this doesn’t necessarily lead to high short-term volatility, we should dig deeper into MTO’s ownership structure to find how the remaining owner types can affect its investment profile.

Insider Ownership

I find insiders are another important group of stakeholders, who are directly involved in making key decisions related to the use of capital. In essence, insider ownership is more about the alignment of shareholders’ interests with the management. With a minor stake in MTO, insiders seem to have some alignment of interest with shareholders. A higher level of insider ownership has been found to reflect the choosing of projects with higher return on investments compared to lower returning projects for the sake of expansion. In addition to this, it may be interesting to look at insider buying and selling activities. Keep in mind that buying may be sign of upbeat future expectations, but selling doesn’t necessarily mean the opposite as the insiders might just be doing it out of their personal financial needs.

General Public Ownership

The general public holds a substantial 19.13% stake in MTO, making it a highly popular stock among retail investors. This size of ownership gives retail investors collective power in deciding on major policy decisions such as executive compensation, appointment of directors and acquisitions of businesses. This level of ownership gives retail investors the power to sway key policy decisions such as board composition, executive compensation, and potential acquisitions. This is a positive sign for an investor who wants to be involved in key decision-making of the company.

Private Company Ownership

Another group of owners that a potential investor in MTO should consider are private companies, with a stake of 0.036%. While they invest more often due to strategic interests, an investment can also be driven by capital gains through share price appreciation. However, an ownership of this size may be relatively insignificant, meaning that these shareholders may not have the potential to influence MTO’s business strategy. Thus, investors not need worry too much about the consequences of these holdings.

Next Steps:

The company’s high institutional ownership makes margin of safety a very important consideration to existing investors since long bull and bear trends often emerge when these big-ticket investors see a change in long-term potential of the company. This will enable shareholders to comfortably invest in the company while avoid getting trapped in a sustained sell-off that is often observed in stocks with this level of institutional participation. However, if you are building an investment case for MTO, ownership structure alone should not dictate your decision to buy or sell the stock. Rather, you should be examining fundamental factors such as Mitie Group’s past track record and financial health. I highly recommend you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

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.