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Stantec Inc.'s (TSE:STN) recent 3.1% pullback adds to one-year year losses, institutional owners may take drastic measures

If you want to know who really controls Stantec Inc. (TSE:STN), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. We can see that institutions own the lion's share in the company with 62% ownership. That is, the group stands to benefit the most if the stock rises (or lose the most if there is a downturn).

As a result, institutional investors endured the highest losses last week after market cap fell by CA$230m. Needless to say, the recent loss which further adds to the one-year loss to shareholders of 7.7% might not go down well especially with this category of shareholders. Also referred to as "smart money", institutions have a lot of sway over how a stock's price moves. As a result, if the downtrend continues, institutions may face pressures to sell Stantec, which might have negative implications on individual investors.

Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about Stantec.

See our latest analysis for Stantec

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Stantec?

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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Stantec already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. 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 Stantec, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

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

Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. Our data indicates that hedge funds own 12% of Stantec. That worth noting, since hedge funds are often quite active investors, who may try to influence management. Many want to see value creation (and a higher share price) in the short term or medium term. The company's largest shareholder is Mackenzie Financial Corporation, with ownership of 12%. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 8.8% and 3.5% of the stock.

After doing some more digging, we found that the top 20 have the combined ownership of 51% in the company, suggesting that no single shareholder has significant control over the company.

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

Insider Ownership Of Stantec

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 most recent data indicates that insiders own less than 1% of Stantec Inc.. It's a big company, so even a small proportional interest can create alignment between the board and shareholders. In this case insiders own CA$36m worth of shares. 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 26% stake in Stantec. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Take risks for example - Stantec has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.

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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