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If you want to know who really controls Highfield Resources Limited (ASX:HFR), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. 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 AU$182m, Highfield Resources is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it seems that institutional investors have bought into the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Highfield Resources.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Highfield Resources?
Institutional investors commonly compare their own returns to the returns of a commonly followed index. So they generally do consider buying larger companies that are included in the relevant benchmark index.
As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in Highfield Resources. 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. 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 Highfield Resources' earnings history below. Of course, the future is what really matters.
Highfield Resources is not owned by hedge funds. The company's largest shareholder is EMR Capital Pty. Ltd., with ownership of 29%. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 7.9% and 7.3% of the stock.
We also observed that the top 9 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. As far I can tell there isn't analyst coverage of the company, so it is probably flying under the radar.
Insider Ownership Of Highfield Resources
While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. 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.
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.
We can see that insiders own shares in Highfield Resources Limited. In their own names, insiders own AU$16m worth of stock in the AU$182m company. This shows at least some alignment, but I usually like to see larger insider holdings. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.
General Public Ownership
With a 42% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over Highfield Resources. 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.
Private Equity Ownership
With an ownership of 29%, private equity firms are in a position to play a role in shaping corporate strategy with a focus on value creation. Sometimes we see private equity stick around for the long term, but generally speaking they have a shorter investment horizon and -- as the name suggests -- don't invest in public companies much. After some time they may look to sell and redeploy capital elsewhere.
Private Company Ownership
Our data indicates that Private Companies hold 12%, 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.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. For instance, we've identified 5 warning signs for Highfield Resources (3 are significant) that you should be aware of.
Of course this may not be the best stock to buy. Therefore, you may wish to see our free collection of interesting prospects boasting favorable financials.
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.
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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