A look at the shareholders of Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX:FMG) can tell us which group is most powerful. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it's not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of smaller companies. We also tend to see lower insider ownership in companies that were previously publicly owned.
With a market capitalization of AU$75b, Fortescue Metals Group is rather large. We'd expect to see institutional investors on the register. Companies of this size are usually well known to retail investors, too. In the chart below, we can see that institutions own shares in the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Fortescue Metals Group.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Fortescue Metals Group?
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.
We can see that Fortescue Metals Group does have institutional investors; and they hold a good portion of the company's stock. This suggests some credibility amongst professional investors. But we can't rely on that fact alone since institutions make bad investments sometimes, just like everyone does. 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 Fortescue Metals Group, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.
Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. Hedge funds don't have many shares in Fortescue Metals Group. Our data shows that Tattarang Pty Ltd is the largest shareholder with 36% of shares outstanding. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 9.0% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 4.9% by the third-largest shareholder.
A more detailed study of the shareholder registry showed us that 3 of the top shareholders have a considerable amount of ownership in the company, via their 50% stake.
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. 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 Fortescue Metals 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.
Our most recent data indicates that insiders own less than 1% of Fortescue Metals Group Limited. However, it's possible that insiders might have an indirect interest through a more complex structure. It is a very large company, so it would be surprising to see insiders own a large proportion of the company. Though their holding amounts to less than 1%, we can see that board members collectively own AU$482m worth of shares (at current prices). Arguably recent buying and selling is just as important to consider. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.
General Public Ownership
The general public, with a 32% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.
Private Company Ownership
Our data indicates that Private Companies hold 3.2%, of the company's shares. Private companies may be related parties. Sometimes insiders have an interest in a public company through a holding in a private company, rather than in their own capacity as an individual. While it's hard to draw any broad stroke conclusions, it is worth noting as an area for further research.
Public Company Ownership
Public companies currently own 9.0% of Fortescue Metals Group stock. This may be a strategic interest and the two companies may have related business interests. It could be that they have de-merged. This holding is probably worth investigating further.
It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Fortescue Metals Group better, we need to consider many other factors. Be aware that Fortescue Metals Group is showing 2 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those is potentially serious…
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.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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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