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Could The Autoliv, Inc. (NYSE:ALV) Ownership Structure Tell Us Something Useful?

Simply Wall St

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If you want to know who really controls Autoliv, Inc. (NYSE:ALV), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Institutions will often hold stock in bigger companies, and we expect to see insiders owning a noticeable percentage of the smaller ones. Companies that used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.

Autoliv has a market capitalization of US$6.9b, so it's too big to fly under the radar. We'd expect to see both institutions and retail investors owning a portion of the company. In the chart below below, we can see that institutions own shares in the company. Let's delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about ALV.

See our latest analysis for Autoliv

NYSE:ALV Ownership Summary, May 6th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Autoliv?

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 Autoliv does have institutional investors; and they hold 75% of the stock. 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 Autoliv's historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

NYSE:ALV Income Statement, May 6th 2019

Investors should note that institutions actually own more than half the company, so they can collectively wield significant power. It looks like hedge funds own 9.6% of Autoliv shares. That worth noting, since hedge funds are often quite active investors, who may try to influence management. Many want to see value creation (and a higher share price) in the short term or medium term. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of Autoliv

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

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 data suggests that insiders own under 1% of Autoliv, Inc. in their own names. It's a big company, so even a small proportional interest can create alignment between the board and shareholders. In this case insiders own US$11m worth of shares. 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

With a 15% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over ALV. 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.

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.

Many find it useful to take an in depth look at how a company has performed in the past. You can access this detailed graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow .

Ultimately the future is most important. You can access this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

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.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.