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What You Must Know About Enerplus Corporation’s (TSE:ERF) Major Investors

Amar Chadha

Today, I will be analyzing Enerplus Corporation’s (TSE:ERF) recent ownership structure, an important but not-so-popular subject among individual investors. Ownership structure has been found to have an impact on shareholder returns in both short- and long-term. Differences in ownership structure of companies can have a profound effect on how management’s incentives are aligned with shareholder returns, which is why we’ll take a moment to analyse ERF’s shareholder registry.

Check out our latest analysis for Enerplus

TSX:ERF Ownership Summary August 10th 18

Institutional Ownership

With an institutional ownership of 58.12%, ERF can face volatile stock price movements if institutions execute block trades on the open market, more so, when there are relatively small amounts of shares available on the market to trade These moves, at least in the short-term, are generally observed in an institutional ownership mix comprising of active stock pickers, in particular levered hedge funds, which can cause large price swings. For ERF shareholders, the potential of this type of share price volatility shouldn’t be as concerning as hedge fund ownership is is not significant,indicating few chances of such sudden price moves. While that hardly seems concerning, I will explore further into ERF’s ownership type to find out how it can affect the company’s investment profile.

Insider Ownership

I find insiders are an important group of stakeholders, who are directly involved in making key decisions related to the use of capital. In essence, insider ownership is more about the alignment of shareholders’ interests with the management. ERF insiders may only hold a a minor stake in the company, but this is a relatively significant holding given it is a large-cap stock. A higher level of insider ownership has been linked to management executing on high-returning projects instead of expansion projects for the sake of apparent growth. In addition to this, it may be interesting to look at insider buying and selling activities. Keep in mind that buying may be sign of upbeat future expectations, but selling doesn’t necessarily mean the opposite as the insiders might just be doing it out of their personal financial needs.

General Public Ownership

The general public holds a substantial 41.70% stake in ERF, making it a highly popular stock among retail investors. This size of ownership gives retail investors collective power in deciding on major policy decisions such as executive compensation, appointment of directors and acquisitions of businesses.

Next Steps:

ERF’s considerably high level of institutional ownership calls for further analysis into its margin of safety. This will enable shareholders to comfortably invest in the company while avoid getting trapped in a sustained sell-off that is often observed in stocks with this level of institutional participation. However, ownership structure should not be the only focus of your research when constructing an investment thesis around ERF. Instead, you should be evaluating company-specific factors such as Enerplus’s past track record and financial health. I urge you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for ERF’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for ERF’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has ERF been consistently performing well irrespective of the ups and downs in the market? Go into more detail in the past performance analysis and take a look at the free visual representations of ERF’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.

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.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.