If you want to know who really controls The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. We also tend to see lower insider ownership in companies that were previously publicly owned.
Kroger has a market capitalization of US$28b, 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. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Kroger.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Kroger?
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 Kroger does have institutional investors; and they hold a good portion of the company's stock. 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 Kroger, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.
Investors should note that institutions actually own more than half the company, so they can collectively wield significant power. Hedge funds don't have many shares in Kroger. The Vanguard Group, Inc. is currently the company's largest shareholder with 8.1% of shares outstanding. Meanwhile, the second and third largest shareholders, hold 7.9% and 5.4%, of the shares outstanding, respectively.
Looking at the shareholder registry, we can see that 50% of the ownership is controlled by the top 19 shareholders, meaning that no single shareholder has a majority interest in the ownership.
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. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.
Insider Ownership Of Kroger
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.
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.
Our information suggests that The Kroger Co. insiders own under 1% of the company. It is a very large company, so it would be surprising to see insiders own a large proportion of the company. Though their holding amounts to less than 1%, we can see that board members collectively own US$227m 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 15% 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.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. To that end, you should learn about the 3 warning signs we've spotted with Kroger (including 1 which is is potentially serious) .
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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