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Here's What Atlas Corp.'s (NYSE:ATCO) Shareholder Ownership Structure Looks Like

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·4 min read
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The big shareholder groups in Atlas Corp. (NYSE:ATCO) have power over the company. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. I quite like to see at least a little bit of insider ownership. As Charlie Munger said 'Show me the incentive and I will show you the outcome.

Atlas is a pretty big company. It has a market capitalization of US$3.4b. Normally institutions would own a significant portion of a company this size. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about Atlas.

View our latest analysis for Atlas

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Atlas?

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.

As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in Atlas. 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. 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 Atlas, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

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

We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in Atlas. Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited is currently the largest shareholder, with 41% of shares outstanding. Kyle Washington is the second largest shareholder owning 24% of common stock, and Capital Research and Management Company holds about 3.2% of the company stock.

After doing some more digging, we found that the top 2 shareholders collectively control more than half of the company's shares, implying that they have considerable power to influence the company's decisions.

Researching institutional ownership is a good way to gauge and filter a stock's expected performance. The same can be achieved by studying analyst sentiments. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of Atlas

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. 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.

I generally consider insider ownership to be a good thing. However, on some occasions it makes it more difficult for other shareholders to hold the board accountable for decisions.

Our information suggests that insiders maintain a significant holding in Atlas Corp.. Insiders own US$827m worth of shares in the US$3.4b company. That's quite meaningful. Most would be pleased to see the board is investing alongside them. You may wish to access this free chart showing recent trading by insiders.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 17% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. 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.

Public Company Ownership

It appears to us that public companies own 41% of Atlas. This may be a strategic interest and the two companies may have related business interests. It could be that they have de-merged. This holding is probably worth investigating further.

Next Steps:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Atlas better, we need to consider many other factors. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 2 warning signs with Atlas (at least 1 which is significant) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

But ultimately it is the future, not the past, that will determine how well the owners of this business will do. Therefore we think it advisable to take a look at this free report showing whether analysts are predicting a brighter 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 (at) simplywallst.com.