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St Barbara Limited's (ASX:SBM) recent 14% pullback adds to one-year year losses, institutional owners may take drastic measures

Key Insights

  • Institutions' substantial holdings in St Barbara implies that they have significant influence over the company's share price

  • The top 9 shareholders own 51% of the company

  • Analyst forecasts along with ownership data serve to give a strong idea about prospects for a business

If you want to know who really controls St Barbara Limited (ASX:SBM), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. The group holding the most number of shares in the company, around 70% to be precise, is institutions. That is, the group stands to benefit the most if the stock rises (or lose the most if there is a downturn).

And institutional investors endured the highest losses after the company's share price fell by 14% last week. The recent loss, which adds to a one-year loss of 58% for stockholders, may not sit well with this group of investors. Also referred to as "smart money", institutions have a lot of sway over how a stock's price moves. As a result, if the decline continues, institutional investors may be pressured to sell St Barbara which might hurt individual investors.

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

Check out our latest analysis for St Barbara

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About St Barbara?

Many institutions measure their performance against an index that approximates the local market. So they usually pay more attention to companies that are included in major indices.

St Barbara already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. 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 St Barbara, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

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

Investors should note that institutions actually own more than half the company, so they can collectively wield significant power. St Barbara is not owned by hedge funds. The company's largest shareholder is L1 Capital Pty. Limited, with ownership of 11%. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 8.3% and 6.8% of the stock.

We did some more digging and found that 9 of the top shareholders account for roughly 51% of the register, implying that along with larger shareholders, there are a few smaller shareholders, thereby balancing out each others interests somewhat.

While studying institutional ownership for a company can add value to your research, it is also a good practice to research analyst recommendations to get a deeper understand of a stock's expected performance. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of St Barbara

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 most recent data indicates that insiders own some shares in St Barbara Limited. It has a market capitalization of just AU$441m, and insiders have AU$5.9m worth of shares, in their own names. This shows at least some alignment. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, who are usually individual investors, hold a 27% stake in St Barbara. 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. Take risks for example - St Barbara has 2 warning signs 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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