A look at the shareholders of Spark New Zealand Limited (NZSE:SPK) can tell us which group is most powerful. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. Companies that used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.
With a market capitalization of NZ$9.1b, Spark New Zealand is rather large. We'd expect to see institutional investors on the register. Companies of this size are usually well known to retail investors, too. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it's seems that institutional investors have bought into the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Spark New Zealand.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Spark New Zealand?
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.
As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in Spark New Zealand. 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 Spark New Zealand, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.
We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in Spark New Zealand. Our data shows that Schroder Investment Management Limited is the largest shareholder with 11% of shares outstanding. BlackRock, Inc. is the second largest shareholder owning 7.5% of common stock, and The Vanguard Group, Inc. holds about 5.2% of the company stock.
On studying our ownership data, we found that 25 of the top shareholders collectively own less than 50% of the share register, implying that no single individual has a majority interest.
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 Spark New Zealand
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.
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 Spark New Zealand Limited insiders own under 1% of the company. It's a big company, so even a small proportional interest can create alignment between the board and shareholders. In this case insiders own NZ$18m worth of shares. 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 -- mostly retail investors -- own 52% of Spark New Zealand. With this size of ownership, retail investors can collectively play a role in decisions that affect shareholder returns, such as dividend policies and the appointment of directors. They can also exercise the power to decline an acquisition or merger that may not improve profitability.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Take risks, for example - Spark New Zealand has 2 warning signs (and 1 which is a bit concerning) we think you should know about.
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.
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. 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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