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Institutional investors control 88% of Sempra (NYSE:SRE) and were rewarded last week after stock increased 5.3%

·4 min read

If you want to know who really controls Sempra (NYSE:SRE), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. And the group that holds the biggest piece of the pie are institutions with 88% ownership. That is, the group stands to benefit the most if the stock rises (or lose the most if there is a downturn).

And as as result, institutional investors reaped the most rewards after the company's stock price gained 5.3% last week. The one-year return on investment is currently 35% and last week's gain would have been more than welcomed.

Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about Sempra.

View our latest analysis for Sempra

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Sempra?

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 Sempra does have institutional investors; and they hold a good portion of the company's stock. 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. 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 Sempra'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

Institutional investors own over 50% of the company, so together than can probably strongly influence board decisions. Hedge funds don't have many shares in Sempra. BlackRock, Inc. is currently the largest shareholder, with 9.8% of shares outstanding. With 8.8% and 6.9% of the shares outstanding respectively, The Vanguard Group, Inc. and T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. are the second and third largest shareholders.

After doing some more digging, we found that the top 11 have the combined ownership of 51% in the company, suggesting that no single shareholder has significant control over the company.

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 a reasonable number of analysts covering the stock, so it might be useful to find out their aggregate view on the future.

Insider Ownership Of Sempra

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.

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 most recent data indicates that insiders own less than 1% of Sempra. Being so large, we would not expect insiders to own a large proportion of the stock. Collectively, they own US$18m of stock. 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-- including retail investors -- own 12% stake in the company, and hence can't 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.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. For example, we've discovered 5 warning signs for Sempra (2 don't sit too well with us!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

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.

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

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.

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