If you want to know who really controls L'Oréal S.A. (EPA:OR), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. Warren Buffett said that he likes 'a business with enduring competitive advantages that is run by able and owner-oriented people'. So it's nice to see some insider ownership, because it may suggest that management is owner-oriented.
With a market capitalization of €139b, L'Oréal 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 below, we can see that institutional investors have bought into the company. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about OR.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About L'Oréal?
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 L'Oréal does have institutional investors; and they hold 14% of the 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. If multiple institutions change their view on a stock at the same time, you could see the share price drop fast. It's therefore worth looking at L'Oréal's earnings history, below. Of course, the future is what really matters.
Hedge funds don't have many shares in L'Oréal. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.
Insider Ownership Of L'Oréal
While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. 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.
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.
Shareholders would probably be interested to learn that insiders own shares in L'Oréal S.A.. It is a very large company, and board members collectively own €8.5b worth of shares (at current prices). It is good to see this level of investment. You can check here to see if those insiders have been buying recently.
General Public Ownership
With a 29% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over OR. 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
We can see that Private Companies own 27%, of the shares on issue. It might be worth looking deeper into this. If related parties, such as insiders, have an interest in one of these private companies, that should be disclosed in the annual report. Private companies may also have a strategic interest in the company.
Public Company Ownership
It appears to us that public companies own 23% of OR. We can't be certain, but this is quite possible this is a strategic stake. The businesses may be similar, or work together.
It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand L'Oréal better, we need to consider many other factors.
I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can access this interactive graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow, for free.
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.
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