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Is Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. (NYSE:CLF) Popular Amongst Institutions?

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·4 min read
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If you want to know who really controls Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. (NYSE:CLF), 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.

Cleveland-Cliffs has a market capitalization of US$11b, 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. In the chart below, we can see that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about Cleveland-Cliffs.

See our latest analysis for Cleveland-Cliffs

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Cleveland-Cliffs?

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 Cleveland-Cliffs does have institutional investors; and they hold a good portion of the company's stock. 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. When multiple institutions own a stock, there's always a risk that they are in a 'crowded trade'. When such a trade goes wrong, multiple parties may compete to sell stock fast. This risk is higher in a company without a history of growth. You can see Cleveland-Cliffs' historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

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. Hedge funds don't have many shares in Cleveland-Cliffs. The company's largest shareholder is The Vanguard Group, Inc., with ownership of 8.4%. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 8.3% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 7.7% by the third-largest shareholder. Additionally, the company's CEO C. Goncalves directly holds 0.8% of the total shares outstanding.

Looking at the shareholder registry, we can see that 51% of the ownership is controlled by the top 12 shareholders, meaning that no single shareholder has a majority interest in the ownership.

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 plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of Cleveland-Cliffs

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.

We can see that insiders own shares in Cleveland-Cliffs Inc.. The insiders have a meaningful stake worth US$155m. Most would say this shows a good 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 20% 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.

Public Company Ownership

We can see that public companies hold 7.6% of the Cleveland-Cliffs shares on issue. We can't be certain but it is quite possible this is a strategic stake. The businesses may be similar, or work together.

Next Steps:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Cleveland-Cliffs better, we need to consider many other factors. Like risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 4 warning signs for Cleveland-Cliffs (of which 2 make us uncomfortable!) you should know about.

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.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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