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What Kind Of Shareholders Own California Water Service Group (NYSE:CWT)?

Simply Wall St

If you want to know who really controls California Water Service Group (NYSE:CWT), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.

California Water Service Group isn't enormous, but it's not particularly small either. It has a market capitalization of US$2.5b, which means it would generally expect to see some institutions on the share registry. In the chart below below, we can see that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about CWT.

See our latest analysis for California Water Service Group

NYSE:CWT Ownership Summary, October 7th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About California Water Service Group?

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 California Water Service Group does have institutional investors; and they hold 77% of the 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. If multiple institutions change their view on a stock at the same time, you could see the share price drop fast. It's therefore worth looking at California Water Service Group's earnings history, below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

NYSE:CWT Income Statement, October 7th 2019

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 California Water Service Group. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of California Water Service Group

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

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 most recent data indicates that insiders own less than 1% of California Water Service Group. Keep in mind that it's a big company, and the insiders own US$22m worth of shares. The absolute value might be more important than the proportional share. 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 22% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over CWT. 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.

I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can access this interactive graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow, for free.

If you would prefer discover what analysts are predicting in terms of future growth, do not miss this free report on analyst forecasts.

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.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.