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With 42% stake, EML Payments Limited (ASX:EML) seems to have captured institutional investors' interest

If you want to know who really controls EML Payments Limited (ASX:EML), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. With 42% stake, institutions possess the maximum shares in the company. Put another way, the group faces the maximum upside potential (or downside risk).

Since institutional have access to huge amounts of capital, their market moves tend to receive a lot of scrutiny by retail or individual investors. As a result, a sizeable amount of institutional money invested in a firm is generally viewed as a positive attribute.

In the chart below, we zoom in on the different ownership groups of EML Payments.

See our latest analysis for EML Payments

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About EML Payments?

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 EML Payments. 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. 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 EML Payments, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

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

It would appear that 9.1% of EML Payments shares are controlled by hedge funds. That worth noting, since hedge funds are often quite active investors, who may try to influence management. Many want to see value creation (and a higher share price) in the short term or medium term. The company's largest shareholder is First Sentier Investors (Australia) IM Ltd, with ownership of 14%. Alta Fox Capital Management LLC is the second largest shareholder owning 9.1% of common stock, and Argo Investments Limited holds about 5.0% of the company stock.

We also observed that the top 10 shareholders account for more than half of the share register, with a few smaller shareholders to balance the interests of the larger ones to a certain extent.

While it makes sense to study institutional ownership data for a company, it also makes sense to study analyst sentiments to know which way the wind is blowing. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of EML Payments

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. 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.

I generally consider insider ownership to be a good thing. However, on some occasions it makes it more difficult for other shareholders to hold the board accountable for decisions.

We can see that insiders own shares in EML Payments Limited. As individuals, the insiders collectively own AU$16m worth of the AU$237m company. It is good to see some investment by insiders, but we usually like to see higher insider holdings. It might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.

General Public Ownership

The general public, who are usually individual investors, hold a 39% stake in EML Payments. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

Private Company Ownership

Our data indicates that Private Companies hold 3.2%, of the company's shares. 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:

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. To that end, you should be aware of the 1 warning sign we've spotted with EML Payments .

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.

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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