To get a sense of who is truly in control of Severn Trent Plc (LON:SVT), it is important to understand the ownership structure of the business. We can see that institutions own the lion's share in the company with 85% ownership. That is, the group stands to benefit the most if the stock rises (or lose the most if there is a downturn).
And last week, institutional investors ended up benefitting the most after the company hit UK£7.1b in market cap. One-year return to shareholders is currently 0.8% and last week’s gain was the icing on the cake.
Let's delve deeper into each type of owner of Severn Trent, beginning with the chart below.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Severn Trent?
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.
Severn Trent already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in 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 Severn Trent, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.
Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in Severn Trent. BlackRock, Inc. is currently the largest shareholder, with 9.8% of shares outstanding. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 5.5% and 4.6% of the stock.
After doing some more digging, we found that the top 15 have the combined ownership of 51% in the company, suggesting that no single shareholder has significant control over the company.
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. 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 Severn Trent
The definition of company insiders can be subjective and does vary between jurisdictions. Our data reflects individual insiders, capturing board members at the very least. 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.
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 data suggests that insiders own under 1% of Severn Trent Plc in their own names. Being so large, we would not expect insiders to own a large proportion of the stock. Collectively, they own UK£17m of stock. 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-- including retail investors -- own 14% stake in the company, and hence can't easily be ignored. 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.
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. For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for Severn Trent that 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.
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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.
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