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Could The Seven West Media Limited (ASX:SWM) Ownership Structure Tell Us Something Useful?

Simply Wall St
·5 mins read

The big shareholder groups in Seven West Media Limited (ASX:SWM) have power over the company. Institutions will often hold stock in bigger companies, and we expect to see insiders owning a noticeable percentage of the smaller ones. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.

Seven West Media is a smaller company with a market capitalization of AU$185m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it seems that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let's delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about Seven West Media.

View our latest analysis for Seven West Media

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Seven West Media?

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 Seven West Media does have institutional investors; and they hold a good portion of the company's 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 Seven West Media's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

Hedge funds don't have many shares in Seven West Media. Looking at our data, we can see that the largest shareholder is Seven Group Holdings Limited with 23% of shares outstanding. With 17% and 8.8% of the shares outstanding respectively, Seven (WAN) Pty Ltd and Spheria Asset Management Pty Ltd are the second and third largest shareholders.

Our research also brought to light the fact that roughly 54% of the company is controlled by the top 4 shareholders suggesting that these owners wield significant influence on the business.

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. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of Seven West Media

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. Management ultimately answers to the board. However, it is not uncommon for managers to be executive board members, especially if they are a founder or the CEO.

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.

We can see that insiders own shares in Seven West Media Limited. As individuals, the insiders collectively own AU$3.2m worth of the AU$185m company. Some would say this shows alignment of interests between shareholders and the board, though I generally prefer to see bigger insider holdings. But it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public holds a 22% stake in Seven West Media. While this size of ownership may not be enough to sway a policy decision in their favour, they can still make a collective impact on company policies.

Private Company Ownership

We can see that Private Companies own 19%, of the shares on issue. It's hard to draw any conclusions from this fact alone, so its worth looking into who owns those private companies. Sometimes insiders or other related parties have an interest in shares in a public company through a separate private company.

Public Company Ownership

It appears to us that public companies own 23% of Seven West Media. It's hard to say for sure but this suggests they have entwined business interests. This might be a strategic stake, so it's worth watching this space for changes in ownership.

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. Be aware that Seven West Media is showing 1 warning sign in our investment analysis , you should know about...

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.

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. 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team@simplywallst.com.