If you want to know who really controls Prudential plc (LON:PRU), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. The group holding the most number of shares in the company, around 79% to be precise, is institutions. In other words, the group stands to gain the most (or lose the most) from their investment into the company.
Because institutional owners have a huge pool of resources and liquidity, their investing decisions tend to carry a great deal of weight, especially with individual investors. Therefore, a good portion of institutional money invested in the company is usually a huge vote of confidence on its future.
Let's delve deeper into each type of owner of Prudential, beginning with the chart below.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Prudential?
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.
As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in Prudential. 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 Prudential's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.
Investors should note that institutions actually own more than half the company, so they can collectively wield significant power. Prudential is not owned by hedge funds. Third Point LLC is currently the largest shareholder, with 4.8% of shares outstanding. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 4.1% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 3.3% by the third-largest shareholder.
A deeper look at our ownership data shows that the top 25 shareholders collectively hold less than half of the register, suggesting a large group of small holders where no single shareholder has a majority.
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. There are a reasonable number of analysts covering the stock, so it might be useful to find out their aggregate view on the future.
Insider Ownership Of Prudential
The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.
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 data suggests that insiders own under 1% of Prudential plc in their own names. We do note, however, it is possible insiders have an indirect interest through a private company or other corporate structure. As it is a large company, we'd only expect insiders to own a small percentage of it. But it's worth noting that they own UK£15m worth of shares. In this sort of situation, it can be more interesting to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.
General Public Ownership
The general public-- including retail investors -- own 19% stake in the company, and hence can't easily be ignored. This size of ownership, while considerable, may not be enough to change company policy if the decision is not in sync with other large shareholders.
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. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for Prudential you should know about.
If you would prefer discover what analysts are predicting in terms of future growth, do not miss this free report on analyst forecasts.
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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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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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