A look at the shareholders of Qantas Airways Limited (ASX:QAN) can tell us which group is most powerful. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. Companies that used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.
Qantas Airways has a market capitalization of AU$9.8b, 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. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it's seems that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about QAN.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Qantas Airways?
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.
Qantas Airways already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 42% of the company. This implies the analysts working for those institutions have looked at the stock and they like it. But just like anyone else, they could be wrong. 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 Qantas Airways's earnings history, below. Of course, the future is what really matters.
Hedge funds don't have many shares in Qantas Airways. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.
Insider Ownership Of Qantas Airways
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.
I generally consider insider ownership to be a good thing. However, on some occasions it makes it more difficult for other shareholders to hold the board accountable for decisions.
Our information suggests that Qantas Airways Limited insiders own under 1% of the company. Keep in mind that it's a big company, and the insiders own AU$49m worth of shares. The absolute value might be more important than the proportional share. It is always good to see at least some insider ownership, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.
General Public Ownership
The general public, who are mostly retail investors, collectively hold 56% of Qantas Airways shares. With this size of ownership, retail investors can collectively play a role in decisions that affect shareholder returns, such as dividend policies and the appointment of directors. They can also exercise the power to decline an acquisition or merger that may not improve profitability.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important.
I always like to check for a history of revenue growth. You can too, by accessing this free chart of historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.
If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its 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.
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