Given the large stake in the stock by institutions, Noble's stock price might be vulnerable to their trading decisions
51% of the business is held by the top 13 shareholders
Analyst forecasts along with ownership data serve to give a strong idea about prospects for a business
To get a sense of who is truly in control of Noble Corporation Plc (NYSE:NE), it is important to understand the ownership structure of the business. And the group that holds the biggest piece of the pie are institutions with 82% ownership. That is, the group stands to benefit the most if the stock rises (or lose the most if there is a downturn).
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. Therefore, a good portion of institutional money invested in the company is usually a huge vote of confidence on its future.
Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about Noble.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Noble?
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 Noble. 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. 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 Noble's earnings history below. Of course, the future is what really matters.
Institutional investors own over 50% of the company, so together than can probably strongly influence board decisions. We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in Noble. Our data shows that A.P. Møller Holding A/S is the largest shareholder with 20% of shares outstanding. Meanwhile, the second and third largest shareholders, hold 7.4% and 4.5%, of the shares outstanding, respectively.
Looking at the shareholder registry, we can see that 51% of the ownership is controlled by the top 13 shareholders, meaning that no single shareholder has a majority interest in the ownership.
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. 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 Noble
The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.
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 Noble Corporation Plc in their own names. Keep in mind that it's a big company, and the insiders own US$49m worth of shares. The absolute value might be more important than the proportional share. It is good to see board members owning shares, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.
General Public Ownership
With a 17% ownership, the general public, mostly comprising of individual investors, have some degree of sway over Noble. 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.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for Noble you should know about.
If you would prefer discover what analysts are predicting in terms of future growth, do not miss this free report on analyst forecasts.
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.
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