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If you want to know who really controls Cenovus Energy Inc. (TSE:CVE), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.
With a market capitalization of CA$52b, Cenovus Energy is rather large. We'd expect to see institutional investors on the register. Companies of this size are usually well known to retail investors, too. In the chart below, we can see that institutional investors have bought into the company. Let's delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about Cenovus Energy.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Cenovus Energy?
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.
As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in Cenovus Energy. 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. 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 Cenovus Energy, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.
Cenovus Energy is not owned by hedge funds. The company's largest shareholder is CK Hutchison Holdings Limited, with ownership of 16%. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 12% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 11% by the third-largest shareholder.
We also observed that the top 6 shareholders account for more than half of the share register, with a few smaller shareholders to balance the interests of the larger ones to a certain extent.
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 Cenovus Energy
The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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.
Insider ownership is positive when it signals leadership are thinking like the true owners of the company. However, high insider ownership can also give immense power to a small group within the company. This can be negative in some circumstances.
Our data suggests that insiders own under 1% of Cenovus Energy Inc. in their own names. We do note, however, it is possible insiders have an indirect interest through a private company or other corporate structure. 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 CA$97m 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
The general public, who are usually individual investors, hold a 20% stake in Cenovus Energy. 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
It seems that Private Companies own 17%, of the Cenovus Energy stock. 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.
Public Company Ownership
Public companies currently own 16% of Cenovus Energy stock. This may be a strategic interest and the two companies may have related business interests. It could be that they have de-merged. This holding is probably worth investigating further.
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. To that end, you should be aware of the 2 warning signs we've spotted with Cenovus Energy .
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.
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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.