Today, I will be analyzing Rubicon Limited’s (NZSE:RBC) recent ownership structure, an important but not-so-popular subject among individual investors. Ownership structure of a company has been found to affect share performance over time. 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 RBC’s shareholder registry.
With an institutional ownership of 18.84%, RBC 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 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. Hedge funds, considered active investors, hold a 56.66% stake in the company, which may be the cause of high short-term volatility in the stock price. We should dig deeper into the company’s ownership structure to find how the rest of its ownership structure can impact its investment case.
I find insiders are another 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. 8.37% ownership makes insiders an important shareholder group. This level of ownership indicates closely aligned interests of shareholders and management. However, it would be interesting to take a look at their buying and selling activities lately. Buying may be sign of upbeat future expectations, but selling doesn’t necessarily mean the opposite as the insiders may be motivated by financial needs or they are simply diversifying their risk.
General Public Ownership
A big stake of 14.67% in RBC 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. This level of ownership gives retail investors the power to sway key policy decisions such as board composition, executive compensation, and potential acquisitions. This is a positive sign for an investor who wants to be involved in key decision-making of the company.
Private Company Ownership
Another group of owners that a potential investor in RBC should consider are private companies, with a stake of 1.46%. 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 RBC’s business strategy. Thus, investors not need worry too much about the consequences of these holdings.
I suggest investors seek some degree of margin of safety due to high institutional ownership in RBC, in particular due to the strong presence of active hedge fund investors. This may enable shareholders to comfortably invest in the company and 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 RBC. Rather, you should be looking at fundamental drivers such as Rubicon’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 RBC’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 RBC 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 RBC’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.