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Could The Rexel SA (EPA:RXL) Ownership Structure Tell Us Something Useful?

If you want to know who really controls Rexel SA (EPA:RXL), then you’ll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. 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.

Rexel has a market capitalization of €3.3b, 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. Taking a look at the our data on the ownership groups (below), it’s seems that institutions own shares in the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about RXL.

See our latest analysis for Rexel

ENXTPA:RXL Ownership Summary October 30th 18

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Rexel?

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 Rexel does have institutional investors; and they hold 48% of the 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. 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 Rexel’s earnings history, below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

ENXTPA:RXL Income Statement Export October 30th 18

It looks like hedge funds own 16% of Rexel 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 Rexel

The definition of company insiders can be subjective, and does vary between jurisdictions. Our data reflects individual insiders, capturing board members at the very least. 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 Rexel SA. Keep in mind that it’s a big company, and the insiders own €6m worth of shares. The absolute value might be more important than the proportional share. It is always good to see at least some insider ownership, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public holds a 36% stake in RXL. While this group can’t necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

Next Steps:

It’s always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Rexel better, we need to consider many other factors.

I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can find historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.

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.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.