What You Must Know About John Wood Group PLC’s (LON:WG.) Major Investors

Today, I will be analyzing John Wood Group PLC’s (LSE:WG.) recent ownership structure, an important but not-so-popular subject among individual investors. A company’s ownership structure is often linked to its share performance in both the long- and short-term. The effect of an active institutional investor with a similar ownership as a passive pension-fund can be vastly different on a company’s corporate governance and accountability to shareholders. While this may be more interesting for long-term investors, short-term investors can also benefit by paying attention to when these institutions trade in order to take advantage of the heightened volatility. Therefore, I will take a look at WG.’s shareholders in more detail.

See our latest analysis for John Wood Group
LSE:WG. Ownership_summary Mar 29th 18
LSE:WG. Ownership_summary Mar 29th 18

Institutional Ownership

WG.’s 88.72% institutional ownership seems enough to cause large share price movements in the case of significant share sell-off or acquisitions by institutions, particularly when there is a low level of public 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 WG., 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 WG.’s ownership structure to find how the remaining owner types can affect its investment profile.

Insider Ownership

Insiders form another group of important ownership types as they manage the company’s operations and decide the best use of capital. Insider ownership has been linked to better alignment between management and shareholders. A stake of less than 1% in WG. is relatively small, though at least there is still 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.
LSE:WG. Insider_trading Mar 29th 18
LSE:WG. Insider_trading Mar 29th 18

General Public Ownership

With 8.45% ownership, the general public are also an important ownership class in WG.. This size of ownership, while considerably large for a public company, may not be enough to change company policy if the decision is not in sync with other large shareholders.

Private Company Ownership

Another group of owners that a potential investor in WG. should consider are private companies, with a stake of 0.27%. 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 WG.’s business strategy. Thus, investors not need worry too much about the consequences of these holdings.

Next Steps:

WG.’s considerably high level of institutional ownership calls for further analysis into its margin of safety. 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 WG., ownership structure alone should not dictate your decision to buy or sell the stock. Instead, you should be evaluating company-specific factors such as the intrinsic valuation, which is a key driver of John Wood Group’s share price. 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.