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If you want to know who really controls ioneer Ltd (ASX:INR), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Institutions will often hold stock in bigger companies, and we expect to see insiders owning a noticeable percentage of the smaller ones. Warren Buffett said that he likes "a business with enduring competitive advantages that is run by able and owner-oriented people." So it's nice to see some insider ownership, because it may suggest that management is owner-oriented.
With a market capitalization of AU$556m, ioneer is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. In the chart below, we can see that institutions don't own many shares in the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about ioneer.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About ioneer?
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.
Since institutions own only a small portion of ioneer, many may not have spent much time considering the stock. But it's clear that some have; and they liked it enough to buy in. If the business gets stronger from here, we could see a situation where more institutions are keen to buy. It is not uncommon to see a big share price rise if multiple institutional investors are trying to buy into a stock at the same time. So check out the historic earnings trajectory, below, but keep in mind it's the future that counts most.
It looks like hedge funds own 9.2% of ioneer shares. That catches my attention because hedge funds sometimes try to influence management, or bring about changes that will create near term value for shareholders. GSCO - ECA Resource Geologic Partners is currently the largest shareholder, with 9.5% of shares outstanding. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 9.2% and 4.0% of the stock. In addition, we found that Bernard Rowe, the CEO has 3.6% of the shares allocated to their name.
Our studies suggest that the top 25 shareholders collectively control less than half of the company's shares, meaning that the company's shares are widely disseminated and there is no dominant shareholder.
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. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.
Insider Ownership Of ioneer
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. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.
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 information suggests that insiders maintain a significant holding in ioneer Ltd. Insiders own AU$84m worth of shares in the AU$556m company. I would say this shows alignment with shareholders, but it is worth noting that the company is still quite small; some insiders may have founded the business. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.
General Public Ownership
The general public, mostly retail investors, hold a substantial 54% stake in ioneer, suggesting it is a fairly popular stock. This size of ownership gives retail investors collective power. They can and probably do influence decisions on executive compensation, dividend policies and proposed business acquisitions.
Private Company Ownership
It seems that Private Companies own 20%, of the ioneer stock. It's hard to draw any conclusions from this fact alone, so its worth looking into who owns those private companies. Sometimes insiders or other related parties have an interest in shares in a public company through a separate private company.
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 4 warning signs we've spotted with ioneer (including 1 which doesn't sit too well with us) .
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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