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Private companies are Loblaw Companies Limited's (TSE:L) biggest owners and were hit after market cap dropped CA$2.0b

A look at the shareholders of Loblaw Companies Limited (TSE:L) can tell us which group is most powerful. With 51% stake, private companies 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.

And following last week's 5.0% decline in share price, private companies suffered the most losses.

Let's delve deeper into each type of owner of Loblaw Companies, beginning with the chart below.

See our latest analysis for Loblaw Companies

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Loblaw Companies?

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.

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As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in Loblaw Companies. 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. 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 Loblaw Companies, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in Loblaw Companies. Our data shows that Wittington Investments, Limited is the largest shareholder with 51% of shares outstanding. With such a huge stake in the ownership, we infer that they have significant control of the future of the company. With 3.4% and 1.7% of the shares outstanding respectively, FMR LLC and The Vanguard Group, Inc. are the second and third largest shareholders.

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. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of Loblaw Companies

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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.

Our information suggests that Loblaw Companies Limited insiders own under 1% of the company. But they may have an indirect interest through a corporate structure that we haven't picked up on. 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$98m worth of shares (at current prices). Arguably recent buying and selling is just as important to consider. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, who are usually individual investors, hold a 29% stake in Loblaw Companies. 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

Our data indicates that Private Companies hold 51%, of the company's shares. 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.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 2 warning signs with Loblaw Companies , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

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.

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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