In this article, I’m going to take a look at Stockland’s (ASX:SGP) latest ownership structure, a non-fundamental factor which is important, but remains a less discussed subject among investors. Ownership structure has been found to have an impact on shareholder returns in both short- and long-term. Differences in ownership structure of companies can have a profound effect on how management’s incentives are aligned with shareholder returns, which is why we’ll take a moment to analyse SGP’s shareholder registry.
Institutions account for 44.05% of SGP’s outstanding shares, a significant enough holding to move stock prices if they start buying and selling in large quantities, especially when there are relatively small amounts of shares available on the market to trade. However, as not all institutions are alike, such high volatility events, especially in the short-term, have been more frequently linked to active market participants like hedge funds. For shareholders in SGP, sharp price movements may not be a major concern as active hedge funds hold a relatively small stake in the company. Although this doesn’t necessarily lead to high short-term volatility, we should dig deeper into SGP’s ownership structure to find how the remaining owner types can affect its investment profile.
I find insiders are another important group of stakeholders, who are directly involved in making key decisions related to the use of capital. In essence, insider ownership is more about the alignment of shareholders’ interests with the management. A stake of less than 1% in SGP is relatively small, though at least there is still some alignment of interest with shareholders. A higher level of insider ownership has been found to reflect the choosing of projects with higher return on investments compared to lower returning projects for the sake of expansion. I will also like to check what insiders have been doing recently with their holdings. Insider buying may be a sign of upbeat future expectations, however, selling doesn’t necessarily mean the opposite as insiders may be motivated by their personal financial needs.
General Public Ownership
A substantial ownership of 55.26% in SGP is held by the general public. With this size of ownership, retail investors can collectively play a role in major company policies that affect shareholders returns, including executive remuneration and the appointment of directors. They can also exercise the power to decline an acquisition or merger that may not improve profitability.
Private Company Ownership
Another important group of owners for potential investors in SGP are private companies that hold a stake of 0.44% in SGP. These are companies that are mainly invested due to their strategic interests or are incentivized by reaping capital gains on investments their shareholdings. However, an ownership of this size may be relatively insignificant, meaning that these shareholders may not have the potential to influence SGP’s business strategy. Thus, investors not need worry too much about the consequences of these holdings.
The company’s high institutional ownership makes margin of safety a very important consideration to existing investors since long bull and bear trends often emerge when these big-ticket investors see a change in long-term potential of the company. This will enable shareholders to comfortably invest in the company while avoid getting trapped in a sustained sell-off that is often observed in stocks with this level of institutional participation. However, ownership structure should not be the only determining factor when you’re building an investment thesis for SGP. Rather, you should be looking at fundamental drivers such as the intrinsic valuation, which is a key driver of Stockland’s share price. I highly recommend you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:
- Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for SGP’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for SGP’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has SGP been consistently performing well irrespective of the ups and downs in the market? Go into more detail in the past performance analysis and take a look at the free visual representations of SGP’s historicals for more clarity.
- Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.
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.
To help readers see pass the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price sensitive company announcements.
The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned.