How Many DS Smith Plc (LON:SMDS) Shares Do Institutions Own?

The big shareholder groups in DS Smith Plc (LON:SMDS) have power over the company. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it’s not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of smaller companies. Companies that used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.

With a market capitalization of UK£4.6b, DS Smith 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. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it’s seems that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let’s take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about SMDS.

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LSE:SMDS Ownership Summary, May 23rd 2019
LSE:SMDS Ownership Summary, May 23rd 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About DS Smith?

Institutions typically measure themselves against a benchmark when reporting to their own investors, so they often become more enthusiastic about a stock once it’s included in a major index. We would expect most companies to have some institutions on the register, especially if they are growing.

We can see that DS Smith does have institutional investors; and they hold 84% of the stock. This implies the analysts working for those institutions have looked at the stock and they like it. But just like anyone else, they could be wrong. It is not uncommon to see a big share price drop if two large institutional investors try to sell out of a stock at the same time. So it is worth checking the past earnings trajectory of DS Smith, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

LSE:SMDS Income Statement, May 23rd 2019
LSE:SMDS Income Statement, May 23rd 2019

Institutional investors own over 50% of the company, so together than can probably strongly influence board decisions. Hedge funds don’t have many shares in DS Smith. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of DS Smith

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

Insider ownership is positive when it signals leadership are thinking like the true owners of the company. However, high insider ownership can also give immense power to a small group within the company. This can be negative in some circumstances.

Our most recent data indicates that insiders own less than 1% of DS Smith Plc. But they may have an indirect interest through a corporate structure that we haven’t picked up on. It is a pretty big company, so it would be possible for board members to own a meaningful interest in the company, without owning much of a proportional interest. In this case, they own around UK£9.5m worth of shares (at current prices). Arguably, recent buying and selling is just as important to consider. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

With a 11% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over SMDS. While this group can’t necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

Private Company Ownership

It seems that Private Companies own 5.0%, of the SMDS stock. It’s hard to draw any conclusions from this fact alone, so its worth looking into who owns those private companies. Sometimes insiders or other related parties have an interest in shares in a public company through a separate private company.

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 find historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.

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.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

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.