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Who Really Owns The Scottish Investment Trust PLC (LON:SCIN)?

Victor Youngblood

I am going to take a deep dive into The Scottish Investment Trust PLC’s (LSE:SCIN) most recent ownership structure, not a frequent subject of discussion among individual investors. The impact of a company’s ownership structure affects both its short- and long-term performance. 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 SCIN’s shareholder registry.

Check out our latest analysis for Scottish Investment Trust

LSE:SCIN Ownership_summary Apr 16th 18

Institutional Ownership

With an institutional ownership of 85.96%, SCIN 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 Although SCIN has a high institutional ownership, such stock moves, in the short-term, are more commonly linked to a particular type of active institutional investors – hedge funds. For SCIN 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 SCIN’s ownership type to find out how it can affect the company’s investment profile.

Insider Ownership

Another important group of shareholders are company insiders. Insider ownership has to do more with how the company is managed and less to do with the direct impact of the magnitude of shares trading on the market. SCIN insiders hold a minor stake in the company, which somewhat aligns their interests with that of shareholders. However, 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. It would also be interesting to check what insiders have been doing with their shareholding recently. Insider buying can be a positive indicator of future performance, but a selling decision can be simply driven by personal financial requirements.

General Public Ownership

The general public holds 9.87% stake in SCIN, thus, representing an important class of owners. While this size of ownership may not be enough to sway a policy decision in their favour, they can still make a collective impact on company policies if it aligns with other large shareholders.

Private Company Ownership

Another group of owners that a potential investor in SCIN should consider are private companies, with a stake of 3.52%. While they invest more often due to strategic interests, an investment can also be driven by capital gains through share price appreciation. However, an ownership of this size may be relatively insignificant, meaning that these shareholders may not have the potential to influence SCIN’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 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 SCIN. Instead, you should be evaluating company-specific factors such as Scottish Investment Trust’s past track record and financial health. I urge you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

  • 1. Financial Health: Is SCIN’s operations financially sustainable? Balance sheets can be hard to analyze, which is why we’ve done it for you. Check out our financial health checks here.
  • 2. Past Track Record: Has SCIN 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 SCIN’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 pass 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.