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Who Owns Most Of The Go-Ahead Group plc (LON:GOG)?

Michael Crabtree

In this analysis, my focus will be on developing a perspective on The Go-Ahead Group plc’s (LON:GOG) latest ownership structure, a less discussed, but important factor. A company’s ownership structure is often linked to its share performance in both the long- and short-term. If an activist institution invests the same amount of capital in a stock as a passive long-term pension fund, the implications are potentially different for key corporate financing decisions such as the use of excess cash or the source of financing. While these are more of a long-term investor’s concern, short-term investors may find the impact of institutional trading overwhelming enough to lose out on what could be a potential opportunity. Now I will analyze GOG’s shareholder registry in more detail.

View our latest analysis for Go-Ahead Group

LSE:GOG Ownership Summary August 29th 18

Institutional Ownership

GOG’s 77.4% institutional ownership seems enough to cause large share price movements in the case of significant share sell-off or acquisitions by institutions, particularly when there is a low level of public shares available on the market to trade. However, as not all institutions are alike, such high volatility events, especially in the short-term, have been more frequently linked to active market participants like hedge funds. In the case of GOG, investors need not worry about such volatility considering active hedge funds don’t have a significant stake. However, we should dig deeper into GOG’s ownership structure and find out how other key ownership classes can affect its investment profile.

Insider Ownership

Insiders form a group of important ownership types as they manage the company’s operations and decide the best use of capital. Insider ownership has been linked to better alignment between management and shareholders. With a minor stake in GOG, insiders seem to have some alignment of interest with shareholders. A higher level of insider ownership has been found to reflect the choosing of projects with higher return on investments compared to lower returning projects for the sake of expansion. 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.

LSE:GOG Insider Trading August 29th 18

General Public Ownership

A substantial ownership of 16.4% in GOG is held by the general public. 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.

Private Company Ownership

Potential investors in GOG should also look at another important group of investors: private companies, with a stake of 4.4%, who are primarily invested because of strategic and capital gain interests. However, an ownership of this size may be relatively insignificant, meaning that these shareholders may not have the potential to influence GOG’s business strategy. Thus, investors not need worry too much about the consequences of these holdings.

Next Steps:

The company’s high institutional ownership makes margin of safety a very important consideration to existing investors since long bull and bear trends often emerge when these big-ticket investors see a change in long-term potential of the company. This is to 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 determining factor when you’re building an investment thesis for GOG. Instead, you should be evaluating company-specific factors such as Go-Ahead Group’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 GOG’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for GOG’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has GOG 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 GOG’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.