Here's What Smiths News plc's (LON:SNWS) Shareholder Ownership Structure Looks Like

By
Simply Wall St
Published
May 18, 2021
LSE:SNWS
Source: Shutterstock

A look at the shareholders of Smiths News plc (LON:SNWS) can tell us which group is most powerful. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. We also tend to see lower insider ownership in companies that were previously publicly owned.

Smiths News is not a large company by global standards. It has a market capitalization of UK£107m, which means it wouldn't have the attention of many institutional investors. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it seems that institutional investors have bought into the company. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about Smiths News.

View our latest analysis for Smiths News

ownership-breakdown
LSE:SNWS Ownership Breakdown May 19th 2021

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Smiths News?

Institutional investors commonly compare their own returns to the returns of a commonly followed index. So they generally do consider buying larger companies that are included in the relevant benchmark index.

We can see that Smiths News does have institutional investors; and they hold a good portion of the company's 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. If multiple institutions change their view on a stock at the same time, you could see the share price drop fast. It's therefore worth looking at Smiths News' earnings history below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
LSE:SNWS Earnings and Revenue Growth May 19th 2021

Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. Hedge funds don't have many shares in Smiths News. The company's largest shareholder is Aberforth Partners LLP, with ownership of 17%. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 14% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 10% by the third-largest shareholder.

To make our study more interesting, we found that the top 4 shareholders control more than half of the company which implies that this group has considerable sway over the company's decision-making.

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. While there is some analyst coverage, the company is probably not widely covered. So it could gain more attention, down the track.

Insider Ownership Of Smiths News

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. The company management answer to the board and the latter should represent the interests of shareholders. Notably, sometimes top-level managers are on the board themselves.

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 Smiths News plc. It has a market capitalization of just UK£107m, and the board has only UK£530k worth of shares in their own names. I generally like to see a board more invested. However it might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 10% 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.

Next Steps:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Smiths News better, we need to consider many other factors. For example, we've discovered 3 warning signs for Smiths News that you should be aware of before investing here.

But ultimately it is the future, not the past, that will determine how well the owners of this business will do. Therefore we think it advisable to take a look at this free report showing whether analysts are predicting a brighter future.

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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