A look at the shareholders of SSE plc (LON:SSE) can tell us which group is most powerful. With 79% stake, institutions possess the maximum shares in the company. In other words, the group stands to gain the most (or lose the most) from their investment into the company.
Because institutional owners have a huge pool of resources and liquidity, their investing decisions tend to carry a great deal of weight, especially with individual investors. As a result, a sizeable amount of institutional money invested in a firm is generally viewed as a positive attribute.
Let's delve deeper into each type of owner of SSE, beginning with the chart below.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About SSE?
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.
SSE already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. This can indicate that the company has a certain degree of credibility in the investment community. However, it is best to be wary of relying on the supposed validation that comes with institutional investors. They too, get it wrong sometimes. 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 SSE's earnings history below. Of course, the future is what really matters.
Investors should note that institutions actually own more than half the company, so they can collectively wield significant power. SSE is not owned by hedge funds. The company's largest shareholder is BlackRock, Inc., with ownership of 4.5%. With 4.2% and 3.9% of the shares outstanding respectively, The Vanguard Group, Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co, Brokerage and Securities Investments are the second and third largest shareholders.
A deeper look at our ownership data shows that the top 25 shareholders collectively hold less than half of the register, suggesting a large group of small holders where no single shareholder has a majority.
While it makes sense to study institutional ownership data for a company, it also makes sense to study analyst sentiments to know which way the wind is blowing. 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 SSE
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. Management ultimately answers to the board. However, it is not uncommon for managers to be executive board members, especially if they are a founder or the CEO.
Most consider insider ownership a positive because it can indicate the board is well aligned with other shareholders. However, on some occasions too much power is concentrated within this group.
Our data suggests that insiders own under 1% of SSE plc in their own names. As it is a large company, we'd only expect insiders to own a small percentage of it. But it's worth noting that they own UK£23m worth of shares. It is good to see board members owning shares, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.
General Public Ownership
The general public-- including retail investors -- own 20% 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.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. For instance, we've identified 4 warning signs for SSE (2 shouldn't be ignored) that you should be aware of.
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.
Join A Paid User Research Session
You’ll receive a US$30 Amazon Gift card for 1 hour of your time while helping us build better investing tools for the individual investors like yourself. Sign up here