If you want to know who really controls Medibank Private Limited (ASX:MPL), 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 used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.
Medibank Private has a market capitalization of AU$9.4b, 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. In the chart below below, we can see that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let's delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about MPL.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Medibank Private?
Institutional investors commonly compare their own returns to the returns of a commonly followed index. So they generally do consider buying larger companies that are included in the relevant benchmark index.
We can see that Medibank Private does have institutional investors; and they hold 34% of the 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 Medibank Private's historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.
We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in Medibank Private. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.
Insider Ownership Of Medibank Private
The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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 Medibank Private Limited insiders own under 1% of the company. However, it's possible that insiders might have an indirect interest through a more complex structure. 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 AU$9.2m worth of shares (at current prices). 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 -- mostly retail investors -- own 63% of Medibank Private. This level of ownership gives retail investors the power to sway key policy decisions such as board composition, executive compensation, and the dividend payout ratio.
Private Company Ownership
Our data indicates that Private Companies hold 3.4%, of the company's shares. Private companies may be related parties. Sometimes insiders have an interest in a public company through a holding in a private company, rather than in their own capacity as an individual. While it's hard to draw any broad stroke conclusions, it is worth noting as an area for further research.
I find it very interesting to look at who exactly owns a company. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too.
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.
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.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.