Institutions' substantial holdings in EnQuest implies that they have significant influence over the company's share price
A total of 12 investors have a majority stake in the company with 51% ownership
Ownership research along with analyst forecasts data help provide a good understanding of opportunities in a stock
If you want to know who really controls EnQuest PLC (LON:ENQ), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. And the group that holds the biggest piece of the pie are institutions with 63% ownership. That is, the group stands to benefit the most if the stock rises (or lose the most if there is a downturn).
Given the vast amount of money and research capacities at their disposal, institutional ownership tends to carry a lot of weight, especially with individual investors. Hence, having a considerable amount of institutional money invested in a company is often regarded as a desirable trait.
Let's delve deeper into each type of owner of EnQuest, beginning with the chart below.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About EnQuest?
Institutions typically measure themselves against a benchmark when reporting to their own investors, so they often become more enthusiastic about a stock once it's included in a major index. We would expect most companies to have some institutions on the register, especially if they are growing.
EnQuest already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in 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. It is not uncommon to see a big share price drop if two large institutional investors try to sell out of a stock at the same time. So it is worth checking the past earnings trajectory of EnQuest, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.
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 EnQuest. Looking at our data, we can see that the largest shareholder is Double A Ltd with 11% of shares outstanding. With 8.3% and 5.7% of the shares outstanding respectively, Aberforth Partners LLP and Schroder Investment Management Limited are the second and third largest shareholders.
A closer look at our ownership figures suggests that the top 12 shareholders have a combined ownership of 51% implying that no single shareholder has a majority.
Researching institutional ownership is a good way to gauge and filter a stock's expected performance. The same can be achieved by studying analyst sentiments. 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 EnQuest
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.
I generally consider insider ownership to be a good thing. However, on some occasions it makes it more difficult for other shareholders to hold the board accountable for decisions.
Our information suggests that EnQuest PLC insiders own under 1% of the company. However, it's possible that insiders might have an indirect interest through a more complex structure. It appears that the board holds about UK£393k worth of stock. This compares to a market capitalization of UK£310m. Many tend to prefer to see a board with bigger shareholdings. A good next step might be to take a look at this free summary of insider buying and selling.
General Public Ownership
The general public-- including retail investors -- own 25% stake in the company, and hence can't easily be ignored. 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.
Private Company Ownership
We can see that Private Companies own 11%, of the shares on issue. It might be worth looking deeper into this. If related parties, such as insiders, have an interest in one of these private companies, that should be disclosed in the annual report. Private companies may also have a strategic interest in the company.
It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand EnQuest 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.
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.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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