Individual investors are Benson Hill, Inc.'s (NYSE:BHIL) biggest owners and were hit after market cap dropped US$82m

Published
June 13, 2022
NYSE:BHIL
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If you want to know who really controls Benson Hill, Inc. (NYSE:BHIL), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. And the group that holds the biggest piece of the pie are individual investors with 38% ownership. In other words, the group stands to gain the most (or lose the most) from their investment into the company.

And last week, individual investors endured the biggest losses as the stock fell by 12%.

Let's delve deeper into each type of owner of Benson Hill, beginning with the chart below.

See our latest analysis for Benson Hill

ownership-breakdown
NYSE:BHIL Ownership Breakdown June 13th 2022

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Benson Hill?

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 Benson Hill. 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 Benson Hill's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
NYSE:BHIL Earnings and Revenue Growth June 13th 2022

We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in Benson Hill. The company's largest shareholder is Argonautic Ventures, with ownership of 8.0%. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 5.7% and 5.6% of the stock. In addition, we found that Matthew Crisp, the CEO has 2.0% of the shares allocated to their name.

A closer look at our ownership figures suggests that the top 13 shareholders have a combined ownership of 51% implying that no single shareholder has a majority.

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

Insider Ownership Of Benson Hill

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

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.

We can report that insiders do own shares in Benson Hill, Inc.. As individuals, the insiders collectively own US$15m worth of the US$593m company. Some would say this shows alignment of interests between shareholders and the board. But it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.

General Public Ownership

With a 38% ownership, the general public, mostly comprising of individual investors, have some degree of sway over Benson Hill. This size of ownership, while considerable, may not be enough to change company policy if the decision is not in sync with other large shareholders.

Private Equity Ownership

Private equity firms hold a 25% stake in Benson Hill. This suggests they can be influential in key policy decisions. Some investors might be encouraged by this, since private equity are sometimes able to encourage strategies that help the market see the value in the company. Alternatively, those holders might be exiting the investment after taking it public.

Private Company Ownership

We can see that Private Companies own 14%, of the shares on issue. 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.

Public Company Ownership

Public companies currently own 3.1% of Benson Hill stock. We can't be certain but it is quite possible this is a strategic stake. The businesses may be similar, or work together.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 2 warning signs with Benson Hill , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

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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