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With 58% ownership, Nufarm Limited (ASX:NUF) boasts of strong institutional backing

Every investor in Nufarm Limited (ASX:NUF) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. And the group that holds the biggest piece of the pie are institutions with 58% ownership. Put another way, the group faces the maximum upside potential (or downside risk).

Because institutional owners have a huge pool of resources and liquidity, their investing decisions tend to carry a great deal 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.

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

View our latest analysis for Nufarm

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Nufarm?

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.

We can see that Nufarm does have institutional investors; and they hold a good portion of the company's stock. 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 Nufarm, (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. We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in Nufarm. Orbis Investment Management Limited is currently the largest shareholder, with 12% of shares outstanding. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 6.2% and 5.0% of the stock.

On further inspection, we found that more than half the company's shares are owned by the top 10 shareholders, suggesting that the interests of the larger shareholders are balanced out to an extent by the smaller ones.

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. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of Nufarm

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 data suggests that insiders own under 1% of Nufarm Limited in their own names. However, it's possible that insiders might have an indirect interest through a more complex structure. 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$7.1m worth of shares (at current prices). 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, who are usually individual investors, hold a 39% stake in Nufarm. 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:

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.

I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can find historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.

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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