Every investor in Royal Dutch Shell plc (AMS:RDSA) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. 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.
Royal Dutch Shell is a pretty big company. It has a market capitalization of €111b. Normally institutions would own a significant portion of a company this size. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions own shares in the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Royal Dutch Shell.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Royal Dutch Shell?
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.
Royal Dutch Shell already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. 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. 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 Royal Dutch Shell's historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.
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 Royal Dutch Shell. BlackRock, Inc. is currently the largest shareholder, with 6.4% of shares outstanding. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 4.5% and 4.2% of the stock.
On studying our ownership data, we found that 25 of the top shareholders collectively own less than 50% of the share register, implying that no single individual has a majority interest.
Researching institutional ownership is a good way to gauge and filter a stock's expected performance. The same can be achieved by studying analyst sentiments. There are a reasonable number of analysts covering the stock, so it might be useful to find out their aggregate view on the future.
Insider Ownership Of Royal Dutch Shell
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 Royal Dutch Shell plc. However, it's possible that insiders might have an indirect interest through a more complex 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 €66m 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
The general public, with a 34% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. While this size of ownership may not be enough to sway a policy decision in their favour, they can still make a collective impact on company policies.
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 risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for Royal Dutch Shell you should know about.
If you would prefer discover what analysts are predicting in terms of future growth, do not miss this free report on analyst forecasts.
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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