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A look at the shareholders of GrafTech International Ltd. (NYSE:EAF) can tell us which group is most powerful. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. Companies that used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.
GrafTech International has a market capitalization of US$3.3b, 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. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it seems that institutions own shares in the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about GrafTech International.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About GrafTech International?
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.
GrafTech International already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in 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. 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 GrafTech International's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.
Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. GrafTech International is not owned by hedge funds. Brookfield Asset Management Inc. is currently the largest shareholder, with 24% of shares outstanding. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 6.0% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 3.3% by the third-largest shareholder.
After doing some more digging, we found that the top 12 have the combined ownership of 51% in the company, suggesting that no single shareholder has significant control over the company.
While it makes sense to study institutional ownership data for a company, it also makes sense to study analyst sentiments to know which way the wind is blowing. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.
Insider Ownership Of GrafTech International
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. 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 most recent data indicates that insiders own less than 1% of GrafTech International Ltd.. 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 US$4.7m worth of shares (at current prices). It is good to see board members owning shares, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.
General Public Ownership
The general public, with a 18% 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.
It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand GrafTech International better, we need to consider many other factors. Take risks for example - GrafTech International has 2 warning signs (and 1 which shouldn't be ignored) we think you should know about.
Ultimately the future is most important. You can access this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.
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.
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