Stock Analysis

With 71% ownership, Hiscox Ltd (LON:HSX) boasts of strong institutional backing

Published
LSE:HSX
Source: Shutterstock

Every investor in Hiscox Ltd (LON:HSX) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. And the group that holds the biggest piece of the pie are institutions with 71% ownership. Put another way, the group faces the maximum upside potential (or downside risk).

Since institutional have access to huge amounts of capital, their market moves tend to receive a lot of scrutiny by retail or individual investors. Hence, having a considerable amount of institutional money invested in a company is often regarded as a desirable trait.

Let's delve deeper into each type of owner of Hiscox, beginning with the chart below.

Check out our latest analysis for Hiscox

ownership-breakdown
LSE:HSX Ownership Breakdown February 9th 2023

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Hiscox?

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.

As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in Hiscox. 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 Hiscox's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
LSE:HSX Earnings and Revenue Growth February 9th 2023

Investors should note that institutions actually own more than half the company, so they can collectively wield significant power. Hiscox is not owned by hedge funds. Our data shows that Fidelity International Ltd is the largest shareholder with 9.6% of shares outstanding. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 8.3% and 7.5% of the stock.

We did some more digging and found that 8 of the top shareholders account for roughly 51% of the register, implying that along with larger shareholders, there are a few smaller shareholders, thereby balancing out each others interests somewhat.

While studying institutional ownership for a company can add value to your research, it is also a good practice to research analyst recommendations to get a deeper understand of a stock's expected performance. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of Hiscox

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 some shares in Hiscox Ltd. It is a pretty big company, so it is generally a positive to see some potentially meaningful alignment. In this case, they own around UK£53m worth of shares (at current prices). If you would like to explore the question of insider alignment, you can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, who are usually individual investors, hold a 27% stake in Hiscox. 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.

Next Steps:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Hiscox better, we need to consider many other factors. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 1 warning sign with Hiscox , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

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.

Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

Find out whether Hiscox is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.

View the Free Analysis