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A look at the shareholders of Maple Leaf Foods Inc. (TSE:MFI) can tell us which group is most powerful. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. I quite like to see at least a little bit of insider ownership. As Charlie Munger said 'Show me the incentive and I will show you the outcome.
With a market capitalization of CA$3.5b, Maple Leaf Foods is a decent size, so it is probably on the radar of institutional investors. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutional investors have bought into the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Maple Leaf Foods.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Maple Leaf Foods?
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.
Maple Leaf Foods 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 Maple Leaf Foods, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.
Maple Leaf Foods is not owned by hedge funds. Looking at our data, we can see that the largest shareholder is the CEO Michael McCain with 39% of shares outstanding. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 8.3% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 2.1% by the third-largest shareholder.
To make our study more interesting, we found that the top 4 shareholders control more than half of the company which implies that this group has considerable sway over the company's decision-making.
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 Maple Leaf Foods
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. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.
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 information suggests that insiders maintain a significant holding in Maple Leaf Foods Inc.. It is very interesting to see that insiders have a meaningful CA$1.4b stake in this CA$3.5b business. Most would be pleased to see the board is investing alongside them. You may wish to access this free chart showing recent trading by insiders.
General Public Ownership
The general public-- including retail investors -- own 35% stake in the company, and hence can't easily be ignored. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Like risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for Maple Leaf Foods (of which 2 are potentially serious!) 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.
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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.