While individual investors own 33% of Canadian Utilities Limited (TSE:CU), private companies are its largest shareholders with 53% ownership

A look at the shareholders of Canadian Utilities Limited (TSE:CU) can tell us which group is most powerful. And the group that holds the biggest piece of the pie are private companies with 53% ownership. Put another way, the group faces the maximum upside potential (or downside risk).

Individual investors, on the other hand, account for 33% of the company's stockholders.

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

See our latest analysis for Canadian Utilities

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Canadian Utilities?

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 Canadian Utilities. This suggests some credibility amongst professional investors. But we can't rely on that fact alone since institutions make bad investments sometimes, just like everyone does. 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 Canadian Utilities' historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

Hedge funds don't have many shares in Canadian Utilities. Our data shows that Sentgraf Enterprises Ltd. is the largest shareholder with 53% of shares outstanding. This implies that they have majority interest control of the future of the company. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 2.1% and 2.0% of the stock.

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

Insider Ownership Of Canadian Utilities

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.

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.

We can see that insiders own shares in Canadian Utilities Limited. The insiders have a meaningful stake worth CA$122m. Most would see this as a real positive. It is good to see this level of investment by insiders. You can check here to see if those insiders have been buying recently.

General Public Ownership

The general public, who are usually individual investors, hold a 33% stake in Canadian Utilities. While this size of ownership may not be enough to sway a policy decision in their favour, they can still make a collective impact on company policies.

Private Company Ownership

It seems that Private Companies own 53%, of the Canadian Utilities stock. Private companies may be related parties. Sometimes insiders have an interest in a public company through a holding in a private company, rather than in their own capacity as an individual. While it's hard to draw any broad stroke conclusions, it is worth noting as an area for further research.

Next Steps:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Canadian Utilities better, we need to consider many other factors. Be aware that Canadian Utilities is showing 2 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those is potentially serious...

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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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