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Could The James Hardie Industries plc (ASX:JHX) Ownership Structure Tell Us Something Useful?

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If you want to know who really controls James Hardie Industries plc (ASX:JHX), 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.

James Hardie Industries has a market capitalization of AU$17b, so it's too big to fly under the radar. We'd expect to see both institutions and retail investors owning a portion of the company. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it seems that institutional investors have bought into the company. Let's delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about James Hardie Industries.

View our latest analysis for James Hardie Industries

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About James Hardie Industries?

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.

James Hardie Industries already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in 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. 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 James Hardie Industries, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

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

Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. Hedge funds don't have many shares in James Hardie Industries. BlackRock, Inc. is currently the company's largest shareholder with 7.0% of shares outstanding. With 7.0% and 5.6% of the shares outstanding respectively, AustralianSuper Pty. Ltd. and Bangarra Group are the second and third largest shareholders.

On further inspection, we found that more than half the company's shares are owned by the top 10 shareholders, suggesting that the interests of the larger shareholders are balanced out to an extent by the smaller ones.

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. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of James Hardie Industries

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 James Hardie Industries plc insiders own under 1% of the company. It is a very large company, so it would be surprising to see insiders own a large proportion of the company. Though their holding amounts to less than 1%, we can see that board members collectively own AU$38m worth of shares (at current prices). It is always good to see at least some insider ownership, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.

General Public Ownership

With a 36% ownership, the general public, mostly comprising of individual investors, have some degree of sway over James Hardie Industries. 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.

Next Steps:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand James Hardie Industries better, we need to consider many other factors. Take risks for example - James Hardie Industries has 3 warning signs we think you should be aware of.

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.

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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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