What Type Of Shareholder Owns Meridian Energy Limited's (NZSE:MEL)?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
January 26, 2020
NZSE:MEL

A look at the shareholders of Meridian Energy Limited (NZSE:MEL) can tell us which group is most powerful. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it's not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of smaller companies. We also tend to see lower insider ownership in companies that were previously publicly owned.

Meridian Energy is a pretty big company. It has a market capitalization of NZ$13b. Normally institutions would own a significant portion of a company this size. In the chart below, we can see that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about Meridian Energy.

See our latest analysis for Meridian Energy

NZSE:MEL Ownership Summary, January 26th 2020
NZSE:MEL Ownership Summary, January 26th 2020

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Meridian Energy?

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.

Meridian Energy already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 14% of 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. 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.

NZSE:MEL Income Statement, January 26th 2020
NZSE:MEL Income Statement, January 26th 2020

Hedge funds don't have many shares in Meridian Energy. Looking at our data, we can see that the largest shareholder is The New Zealand Government with 51% of shares outstanding. This implies that they have majority interest control of the future of the company. Next, we have State Street Global Advisors, Inc. and BlackRock, Inc. as the second and third largest shareholders, holding 4.0% and 1.7%, of the shares outstanding, respectively.

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 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 Meridian Energy

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.

Insider ownership is positive when it signals leadership are thinking like the true owners of the company. However, high insider ownership can also give immense power to a small group within the company. This can be negative in some circumstances.

Our most recent data indicates that insiders own less than 1% of Meridian Energy Limited. 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$29m worth of shares. It is good to see board members owning shares, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.

General Public Ownership

With a 34% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over MEL. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

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. Take risks, for example - Meridian Energy has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.

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.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.

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