A look at the shareholders of Caltex Australia Limited (ASX:CTX) can tell us which group is most powerful. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.

Caltex Australia is a pretty big company. It has a market capitalization of AU$8.69b. Normally institutions would own a significant portion of a company this size. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let’s take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about CTX.

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Caltex Australia?

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.

Caltex Australia already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 41.9% of the company. 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. When multiple institutions own a stock, there’s always a risk that they are in a ‘crowded trade’. When such a trade goes wrong, multiple parties may compete to sell stock fast. This risk is higher in a company without a history of growth. You can see Caltex Australia’s historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.

Caltex Australia is not owned by hedge funds. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of Caltex Australia

The definition of company insiders can be subjective, and does vary between jurisdictions. Our data reflects individual insiders, capturing board members at the very least. 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 Caltex Australia Limited. It’s a big company, so even a small proportional interest can create alignment between the board and shareholders. In this case insiders own AU$13.5m worth of shares. 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, mostly retail investors, hold a substantial 57.9% stake in CTX, suggesting it is a fairly popular stock. With this size of ownership, retail investors can collectively play a role in decisions that affect shareholder returns, such as dividend policies and the appointment of directors. They can also exercise the power to decline an acquisition or merger that may not improve profitability.

Extracted from Simply Wall Street