Why Vital Healthcare Property Trust’s (NZE:VHP) Ownership Structure Is Important

In this article, I will take a quick look at Vital Healthcare Property Trust’s (NZSE:VHP) recent ownership structure – an unconventional investing subject, but an important one. The impact of a company’s ownership structure affects both its short- and long-term performance. Differences in ownership structure of companies can have a profound effect on how management’s incentives are aligned with shareholder returns, and whether they adhere to corporate governance best practices. Although this is an important factor for long-term investors, many investors can also be impacted by institutional presence and their high-volume trading. Therefore, I will take a look at VHP’s shareholders in more detail.

Check out our latest analysis for Vital Healthcare Property Trust
NZSE:VHP Ownership_summary Mar 31st 18
NZSE:VHP Ownership_summary Mar 31st 18

Institutional Ownership

VHP’s 43.10% institutional ownership seems enough to cause large share price movements in the case of significant share sell-off or acquisitions by institutions, particularly when there is a low level of public shares available on the market to trade. However, as not all institutions are alike, such high volatility events, especially in the short-term, have been more frequently linked to active market participants like hedge funds. For shareholders in VHP, sharp price movements may not be a major concern as active hedge funds hold a relatively small stake in the company. Although this doesn’t necessarily lead to high short-term volatility, we should dig deeper into VHP’s ownership structure to find how the remaining owner types can affect its investment profile.

Insider Ownership

I find insiders are another important group of stakeholders, who are directly involved in making key decisions related to the use of capital. In essence, insider ownership is more about the alignment of shareholders’ interests with the management. VHP insiders hold a minor stake in the company, which somewhat aligns their interests with that of shareholders. However, a higher level of insider ownership has been linked to management executing on high-returning projects instead of expansion projects for the sake of apparent growth. I will also like to check what insiders have been doing recently with their holdings. Insider buying may be a sign of upbeat future expectations, however, selling doesn’t necessarily mean the opposite as insiders may be motivated by their personal financial needs.

General Public Ownership

The general public holds a substantial 55.84% stake in VHP, making it a highly popular stock among retail investors. With this size of ownership, retail investors can collectively play a role in major company policies that affect shareholders returns, including executive remuneration and the appointment of directors. They can also exercise the power to decline an acquisition or merger that may not improve profitability.

Next Steps:

VHP’s considerably high level of institutional ownership calls for further analysis into its margin of safety. This is to avoid getting trapped in a sustained sell-off that is often observed in stocks with this level of institutional participation. However, ownership structure should not be the only focus of your research when constructing an investment thesis around VHP. Instead, you should be evaluating company-specific factors such as the intrinsic valuation, which is a key driver of Vital Healthcare Property Trust’s share price. I urge you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

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.