The big shareholder groups in Meridian Energy Limited (NZSE:MEL) have power over the company. Institutions will often hold stock in bigger companies, and we expect to see insiders owning a noticeable percentage of the smaller ones. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.
With a market capitalization of NZ$13b, Meridian Energy is rather large. We'd expect to see institutional investors on the register. Companies of this size are usually well known to retail investors, too. In the chart below, we can see that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Meridian Energy.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Meridian Energy?
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 Meridian Energy. 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. It is not uncommon to see a big share price drop if two large institutional investors try to sell out of a stock at the same time. So it is worth checking the past earnings trajectory of Meridian Energy, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.
We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in Meridian Energy. Our data shows that The New Zealand Government is the largest shareholder with 51% of shares outstanding. With such a huge stake in the ownership, we infer that they have significant control of the future of the company. Meanwhile, the second and third largest shareholders, hold 2.3% and 1.6%, of the shares outstanding, respectively.
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 plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.
Insider Ownership Of Meridian Energy
The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.
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 information suggests that Meridian Energy Limited insiders own under 1% of the company. 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 NZ$36m worth of shares. Arguably recent buying and selling is just as important to consider. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.
General Public Ownership
The general public, with a 38% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Be aware that Meridian Energy is showing 2 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those is significant...
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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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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