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With 71% institutional ownership, Golar LNG Limited (NASDAQ:GLNG) is a favorite amongst the big guns

Key Insights

  • Institutions' substantial holdings in Golar LNG implies that they have significant influence over the company's share price

  • A total of 16 investors have a majority stake in the company with 51% ownership

  • Using data from analyst forecasts alongside ownership research, one can better assess the future performance of a company

To get a sense of who is truly in control of Golar LNG Limited (NASDAQ:GLNG), it is important to understand the ownership structure of the business. We can see that institutions own the lion's share in the company with 71% ownership. Put another way, the group faces the maximum upside potential (or downside risk).

Since institutional have access to huge amounts of capital, their market moves tend to receive a lot of scrutiny by retail or individual investors. Hence, having a considerable amount of institutional money invested in a company is often regarded as a desirable trait.

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In the chart below, we zoom in on the different ownership groups of Golar LNG.

See our latest analysis for Golar LNG

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Golar LNG?

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.

We can see that Golar LNG does have institutional investors; and they hold a good portion of the company's stock. 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. 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 Golar LNG, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

Investors should note that institutions actually own more than half the company, so they can collectively wield significant power. Our data indicates that hedge funds own 6.2% of Golar LNG. That catches my attention because hedge funds sometimes try to influence management, or bring about changes that will create near term value for shareholders. Rubric Capital Management LP is currently the company's largest shareholder with 6.2% of shares outstanding. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 6.1% and 5.2% of the stock.

After doing some more digging, we found that the top 16 have the combined ownership of 51% in the company, suggesting that no single shareholder has significant control over the company.

While studying institutional ownership for a company can add value to your research, it is also a good practice to research analyst recommendations to get a deeper understand of a stock's expected performance. 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 Golar LNG

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.

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 Golar LNG Limited insiders own under 1% of the company. But they may have an indirect interest through a corporate structure that we haven't picked up on. 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$2.3m worth of shares. 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

With a 16% ownership, the general public, mostly comprising of individual investors, have some degree of sway over Golar LNG. 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 6.6%, 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.

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. Be aware that Golar LNG is showing 2 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those can't be ignored...

But ultimately it is the future, not the past, that will determine how well the owners of this business will do. Therefore we think it advisable to take a look at this free report showing whether analysts are predicting a brighter future.

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.