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What Kind Of Investors Own Most Of Micro Focus International plc (LON:MCRO)?

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·5 min read
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If you want to know who really controls Micro Focus International plc (LON:MCRO), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it's not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of smaller companies. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.

With a market capitalization of UK£1.6b, Micro Focus International is a decent size, so it is probably on the radar of institutional investors. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it seems that institutional investors have bought into the company. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about Micro Focus International.

View our latest analysis for Micro Focus International

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Micro Focus 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.

We can see that Micro Focus International 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. 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 Micro Focus International'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. Micro Focus International is not owned by hedge funds. The company's largest shareholder is Dodge & Cox, with ownership of 17%. With 7.2% and 5.0% of the shares outstanding respectively, BlackRock, Inc. and M&G Investment Management Limited are the second and third largest shareholders.

A closer look at our ownership figures suggests that the top 13 shareholders have a combined ownership of 51% implying that no single shareholder has a majority.

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 Micro Focus International

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 data suggests that insiders own under 1% of Micro Focus International plc in their own names. 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 UK£4.3m 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

With a 24% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over Micro Focus International. While this size of ownership may not be enough to sway a policy decision in their favour, they can still make a collective impact on company policies.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Take risks for example - Micro Focus International has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.

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.