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What Type Of Shareholder Owns Stepan Company’s (NYSE:SCL)?

The big shareholder groups in Stepan Company (NYSE:SCL) have power over the company. Institutions will often hold stock in bigger companies, and we expect to see insiders owning a noticeable percentage of the smaller ones. I generally like to see some degree of insider ownership, even if only a little. As Nassim Nicholas Taleb said, ‘Don’t tell me what you think, tell me what you have in your portfolio.’

With a market capitalization of US$1.8b, Stepan is a decent size, so it is probably on the radar of institutional investors. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions own shares in the company. Let’s take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about SCL.

See our latest analysis for Stepan

NYSE:SCL Ownership Summary December 4th 18

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Stepan?

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.

Stepan already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 72% of the company. This implies the analysts working for those institutions have looked at the stock and they like it. But just like anyone else, they could be wrong. If multiple institutions change their view on a stock at the same time, you could see the share price drop fast. It’s therefore worth looking at Stepan’s earnings history, below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

NYSE:SCL Income Statement Export December 4th 18

Institutional investors own over 50% of the company, so together than can probably strongly influence board decisions. We note that hedge funds don’t have a meaningful investment in Stepan. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of Stepan

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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 most recent data indicates that insiders own some shares in Stepan Company. It is a pretty big company, so it is generally a positive to see some potentially meaningful alignment. In this case, they own around US$171m worth of shares (at current prices). Most would say this shows alignment of interests between shareholders and the board. Still, it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 19% stake in the company, will not 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.

Next Steps:

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.

I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can find historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.

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.

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.