Do Institutions Own Swire Pacific Limited (HKG:19) Shares?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
November 18, 2020
SEHK:19

If you want to know who really controls Swire Pacific Limited (HKG:19), 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. We also tend to see lower insider ownership in companies that were previously publicly owned.

Swire Pacific has a market capitalization of HK$63b, so it's too big to fly under the radar. We'd expect to see both institutions and retail investors owning a portion of the company. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it seems that institutional investors have bought into the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Swire Pacific.

Check out our latest analysis for Swire Pacific

ownership-breakdown
SEHK:19 Ownership Breakdown November 18th 2020

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Swire Pacific?

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.

As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in Swire Pacific. This can indicate that the company has a certain degree of credibility in the investment community. However, it is best to be wary of relying on the supposed validation that comes with institutional investors. They too, get it wrong sometimes. 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 Swire Pacific's earnings history below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
SEHK:19 Earnings and Revenue Growth November 18th 2020

We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in Swire Pacific. Looking at our data, we can see that the largest shareholder is John Swire & Sons Limited with 55% of shares outstanding. With such a huge stake in the ownership, we infer that they have significant control of the future of the company. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 3.1% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 1.4% by the third-largest shareholder.

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. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of Swire Pacific

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. 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.

I generally consider insider ownership to be a good thing. However, on some occasions it makes it more difficult for other shareholders to hold the board accountable for decisions.

Our most recent data indicates that insiders own less than 1% of Swire Pacific Limited. We do note, however, it is possible insiders have an indirect interest through a private company or other corporate structure. As it is a large company, we'd only expect insiders to own a small percentage of it. But it's worth noting that they own HK$274m worth of shares. In this sort of situation, it can be more interesting to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

With a 31% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over Swire Pacific. 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 55%, of the Swire Pacific 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:

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. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 1 warning sign with Swire Pacific , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its 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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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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