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The big shareholder groups in SBM Offshore N.V. (AMS:SBMO) have power over the company. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. We also tend to see lower insider ownership in companies that were previously publicly owned.
With a market capitalization of €3.5b, SBM Offshore 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. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about SBMO.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About SBM Offshore?
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 SBM Offshore does have institutional investors; and they hold 49% 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. 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 SBM Offshore's historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.
Hedge funds don't have many shares in SBM Offshore. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.
Insider Ownership Of SBM Offshore
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 SBM Offshore N.V.. It is a pretty big company, so it would be possible for board members to own a meaningful interest in the company, without owning much of a proportional interest. In this case, they own around €32m worth of shares (at current prices). 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 35% stake in SBMO. 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.
Private Equity Ownership
With a stake of 16%, private equity firms could influence the SBMO board. Sometimes we see private equity stick around for the long term, but generally speaking they have a shorter investment horizon and -- as the name suggests -- don't invest in public companies much. After some time they may look to sell and redeploy capital elsewhere.
It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand SBM Offshore 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.
If you would prefer discover what analysts are predicting in terms of future growth, do not miss this free report on analyst forecasts.
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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