Given the large stake in the stock by institutions, Hiscox's stock price might be vulnerable to their trading decisions
51% of the business is held by the top 8 shareholders
A look at the shareholders of Hiscox Ltd (LON:HSX) can tell us which group is most powerful. And the group that holds the biggest piece of the pie are institutions with 70% ownership. That is, the group stands to benefit the most if the stock rises (or lose the most if there is a downturn).
Given the vast amount of money and research capacities at their disposal, institutional ownership tends to carry a lot of weight, especially with individual investors. Hence, having a considerable amount of institutional money invested in a company is often regarded as a desirable trait.
Let's delve deeper into each type of owner of Hiscox, beginning with the chart below.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Hiscox?
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.
We can see that Hiscox 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 Hiscox, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.
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 Hiscox. Fidelity International Ltd is currently the largest shareholder, with 9.5% of shares outstanding. With 8.1% and 7.5% of the shares outstanding respectively, FMR LLC and Capital Research and Management Company are the second and third largest shareholders.
We also observed that the top 8 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 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 Hiscox
While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.
Insider ownership is positive when it signals leadership are thinking like the true owners of the company. However, high insider ownership can also give immense power to a small group within the company. This can be negative in some circumstances.
Our most recent data indicates that insiders own less than 1% of Hiscox Ltd. Keep in mind that it's a big company, and the insiders own UK£20m worth of shares. The absolute value might be more important than the proportional share. It is good to see board members owning shares, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.
General Public Ownership
The general public-- including retail investors -- own 29% stake in the company, and hence can't easily be ignored. This size of ownership, while considerable, may not be enough to change company policy if the decision is not in sync with other large shareholders.
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. For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for Hiscox that 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.
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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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