If you want to know who really controls Santam Ltd (JSE:SNT), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. 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.
Santam has a market capitalization of R30b, so we would expect some institutional investors to have noticed the stock. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it seems that institutional investors have bought into the company. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about Santam.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Santam?
Many institutions measure their performance against an index that approximates the local market. So they usually pay more attention to companies that are included in major indices.
We can see that Santam does have institutional investors; and they hold a good portion of the company's stock. 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 Santam, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.
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 Santam. The company's largest shareholder is Sanlam Investment Management (Pty) Ltd., with ownership of 63%. This implies that they have majority interest control of the future of the company. With 5.7% and 4.9% of the shares outstanding respectively, Public Investment Corporation Limited and Ninety One UK Limited are the second and third largest shareholders.
While studying institutional ownership for a company can add value to your research, it is also a good practice to research analyst recommendations to get a deeper understand of a stock's expected performance. While there is some analyst coverage, the company is probably not widely covered. So it could gain more attention, down the track.
Insider Ownership Of Santam
The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. The company management answer to the board and the latter should represent the interests of shareholders. Notably, sometimes top-level managers are on the board themselves.
Most consider insider ownership a positive because it can indicate the board is well aligned with other shareholders. However, on some occasions too much power is concentrated within this group.
Our information suggests that Santam Ltd insiders own under 1% of the company. Keep in mind that it's a big company, and the insiders own R16m worth of shares. The absolute value might be more important than the proportional share. It is always good to see at least some insider ownership, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.
General Public Ownership
The general public-- including retail investors -- own 20% stake in the company, and hence can't 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.
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 - Santam has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.
Ultimately the future is most important. You can access this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.
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.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.