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Can We See Significant Institutional Ownership On The Experian plc (LON:EXPN) Share Register?

Simply Wall St

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The big shareholder groups in Experian plc (LON:EXPN) have power over the company. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it's not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of smaller companies. We also tend to see lower insider ownership in companies that were previously publicly owned.

Experian is a pretty big company. It has a market capitalization of UK£22b. Normally institutions would own a significant portion of a company this size. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it's seems that institutional investors have bought into the company. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about EXPN.

Check out our latest analysis for Experian

LSE:EXPN Ownership Summary, June 1st 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Experian?

Institutional investors commonly compare their own returns to the returns of a commonly followed index. So they generally do consider buying larger companies that are included in the relevant benchmark index.

Experian already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 42% 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 Experian's historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

LSE:EXPN Income Statement, June 1st 2019

We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in Experian. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of Experian

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. The company management answer to the board; and the latter should represent the interests of shareholders. Notably, sometimes top-level managers are on the board, themselves.

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 information suggests that Experian plc insiders own under 1% of the company. Being so large, we would not expect insiders to own a large proportion of the stock. Collectively, they own UK£54m of stock. Arguably recent buying and selling is just as important to consider. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, mostly retail investors, hold a substantial 58% stake in EXPN, suggesting it is a fairly popular stock. This level of ownership gives retail investors the power to sway key policy decisions such as board composition, executive compensation, and the dividend payout ratio.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important.

I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can access this interactive graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow, for free .

Ultimately the future is most important. You can access this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

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.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.