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What Type Of Shareholders Make Up Hostelworld Group plc's (LON:HSW) Share Registry?

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·4-min read
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The big shareholder groups in Hostelworld Group plc (LON:HSW) have power over the company. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. We also tend to see lower insider ownership in companies that were previously publicly owned.

With a market capitalization of UK£117m, Hostelworld Group is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about Hostelworld Group.

View our latest analysis for Hostelworld Group

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Hostelworld Group?

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.

Hostelworld Group 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. When multiple institutions own a stock, there's always a risk that they are in a 'crowded trade'. When such a trade goes wrong, multiple parties may compete to sell stock fast. This risk is higher in a company without a history of growth. You can see Hostelworld Group's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

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

Institutional investors own over 50% of the company, so together than can probably strongly influence board decisions. We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in Hostelworld Group. Aberforth Partners LLP is currently the company's largest shareholder with 17% of shares outstanding. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 13% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 7.8% by the third-largest shareholder.

We also observed that the top 7 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 Hostelworld Group

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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.

We can report that insiders do own shares in Hostelworld Group plc. As individuals, the insiders collectively own UK£2.1m worth of the UK£117m 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-- including retail investors -- own 14% stake in the company, and hence can't easily be ignored. 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.

Private Equity Ownership

Private equity firms hold a 7.8% stake in Hostelworld Group. This suggests they can be influential in key policy decisions. Sometimes we see private equity stick around for the long term, but generally speaking they have a shorter investment horizon and -- as the name suggests -- don't invest in public companies much. After some time they may look to sell and redeploy capital elsewhere.

Next Steps:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Hostelworld Group better, we need to consider many other factors. Like risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for Hostelworld Group (of which 1 doesn't sit too well with us!) you should know about.

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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