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Can We See Significant Institutional Ownership On The California Water Service Group (NYSE:CWT) Share Register?

If you want to know who really controls California Water Service Group (NYSE:CWT), then you’ll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. We also tend to see lower insider ownership in companies that were previously publicly owned.

California Water Service Group isn’t enormous, but it’s not particularly small either. It has a market capitalization of US$2.0b, which means it would generally expect to see some institutions on the share registry. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutional investors have bought into the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about CWT.

View our latest analysis for California Water Service Group

NYSE:CWT Ownership Summary October 21st 18

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About California Water Service Group?

Many institutions measure their performance against an index that approximates the local market. So they usually pay more attention to companies that are included in major indices.

California Water Service Group already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 73% of the company. This suggests some credibility amongst professional investors. But we can’t rely on that fact alone, since institutions make bad investments sometimes, just like everyone does. 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 California Water Service Group’s historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.

NYSE:CWT Income Statement Export October 21st 18

Investors should note that institutions actually own more than half the company, so they can collectively wield significant power. California Water Service Group is not owned by hedge funds. 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 California Water Service Group

The definition of company insiders can be subjective, and does vary between jurisdictions. Our data reflects individual insiders, capturing board members at the very least. 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 most recent data indicates that insiders own less than 1% of California Water Service Group. It’s a big company, so even a small proportional interest can create alignment between the board and shareholders. In this case insiders own US$20m worth of shares. It is good to see board members owning shares, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.

General Public Ownership

The general public holds a 26% stake in CWT. 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.

Next Steps:

It’s always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand California Water Service Group better, we need to consider many other factors.

I always like to check for a history of revenue growth. You can too, by accessing this free chart of historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.

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.

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.