What Type Of Shareholders Make Up The Go-Ahead Group plc's (LON:GOG) Share Registry?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
March 18, 2021
LSE:GOG

If you want to know who really controls The Go-Ahead Group plc (LON:GOG), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.

With a market capitalization of UK£569m, Go-Ahead Group is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it seems that institutions own shares in the company. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about Go-Ahead Group.

See our latest analysis for Go-Ahead Group

ownership-breakdown
LSE:GOG Ownership Breakdown March 18th 2021

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Go-Ahead Group?

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.

Go-Ahead Group already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. 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 Go-Ahead Group's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
LSE:GOG Earnings and Revenue Growth March 18th 2021

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 Go-Ahead Group. Looking at our data, we can see that the largest shareholder is Columbia Management Investment Advisers, LLC with 9.3% of shares outstanding. Meanwhile, the second and third largest shareholders, hold 7.6% and 5.3%, of the shares outstanding, respectively.

A closer look at our ownership figures suggests that the top 12 shareholders have a combined ownership of 52% implying that no single shareholder has a majority.

While it makes sense to study institutional ownership data for a company, it also makes sense to study analyst sentiments to know which way the wind is blowing. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of Go-Ahead Group

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. Management ultimately answers to the board. However, it is not uncommon for managers to be executive board members, especially if they are a founder or the CEO.

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 data suggests that insiders own under 1% of The Go-Ahead Group plc in their own names. We do note, however, it is possible insiders have an indirect interest through a private company or other corporate structure. It has a market capitalization of just UK£569m, and the board has only UK£1.4m worth of shares in their own names. Many investors in smaller companies prefer to see the board more heavily invested. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public holds a 11% stake in Go-Ahead Group. 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 3.5%, of the Go-Ahead Group stock. Private companies may be related parties. Sometimes insiders have an interest in a public company through a holding in a private company, rather than in their own capacity as an individual. While it's hard to draw any broad stroke conclusions, it is worth noting as an area for further research.

Next Steps:

I find it very interesting to look at who exactly owns a company. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for Go-Ahead Group (1 is concerning) that you should be aware of.

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.

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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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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