A look at the shareholders of Worldline S.A. (EPA:WLN) can tell us which group is most powerful. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. Companies that used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.
Worldline has a market capitalization of €11b, 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. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about WLN.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Worldline?
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.
Worldline already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 25% of the company. 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. It is not uncommon to see a big share price drop if two large institutional investors try to sell out of a stock at the same time. So it is worth checking the past earnings trajectory of Worldline, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.
Hedge funds don't have many shares in Worldline. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.
Insider Ownership Of Worldline
The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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.
Most consider insider ownership a positive because it can indicate the board is well aligned with other shareholders. However, on some occasions too much power is concentrated within this group.
Our information suggests that Worldline S.A. insiders own under 1% of the company. We do note, however, it is possible insiders have an indirect interest through a private company or other corporate structure. It is a very large company, so it would be surprising to see insiders own a large proportion of the company. Though their holding amount to less than 1%, we can see that board members collectively own €5.8m worth of shares (at current prices). 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
The general public, with a 21% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. 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
Our data indicates that Private Companies hold 27%, of the company's shares. 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
Public companies currently own 27% of WLN stock. 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.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important.
I always like to check for a history of revenue growth. You can too, by accessing this free chart of 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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