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With 52% ownership, Ansell Limited (ASX:ANN) boasts of strong institutional backing

Key Insights

  • Given the large stake in the stock by institutions, Ansell's stock price might be vulnerable to their trading decisions

  • 50% of the business is held by the top 21 shareholders

  • Ownership research along with analyst forecasts data help provide a good understanding of opportunities in a stock

A look at the shareholders of Ansell Limited (ASX:ANN) can tell us which group is most powerful. And the group that holds the biggest piece of the pie are institutions with 52% ownership. In other words, the group stands to gain the most (or lose the most) from their investment into the company.

Given the vast amount of money and research capacities at their disposal, institutional ownership tends to carry a lot of weight, especially with individual investors. As a result, a sizeable amount of institutional money invested in a firm is generally viewed as a positive attribute.

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

Check out our latest analysis for Ansell

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Ansell?

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.

Ansell already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. This can indicate that the company has a certain degree of credibility in the investment community. However, it is best to be wary of relying on the supposed validation that comes with institutional investors. They too, get it wrong sometimes. 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 Ansell, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

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

Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. Ansell is not owned by hedge funds. The company's largest shareholder is Orbis Investment Management Limited, with ownership of 17%. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 7.1% and 5.1% of the stock.

A closer look at our ownership figures suggests that the top 21 shareholders have a combined ownership of 50% implying that no single shareholder has a majority.

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. 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 Ansell

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

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.

Our most recent data indicates that insiders own less than 1% of Ansell Limited. It is a pretty big company, so it would be possible for board members to own a meaningful interest in the company, without owning much of a proportional interest. In this case, they own around AU$22m worth of shares (at current prices). It is good to see board members owning shares, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.

General Public Ownership

The general public, who are usually individual investors, hold a 46% stake in Ansell. 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.

Next Steps:

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 - Ansell has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.

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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