Is Optus a Public Company?

Is Optus a Public Company?


To answer the question of whether Optus is a public company, it’s important to understand the difference between private and public companies. A private company, like most startups in Australia, doesn’t sell shares to the general public, but rather only allows an exclusive group of investors to buy shares in their company. Private companies also don’t have to disclose their finances, so they can control how much they share with the general public.

Stocks vs. Shares

Investing in stocks is more like investing in small portions of many different companies. You are buying into an ownership stake in the company and earning dividends or, if the stock price increases, selling at a profit. On the other hand, buying shares can be riskier since you are purchasing just one part of one company.
So when you buy stocks, you might be holding small amounts of a whole bunch of companies at once. Buying shares, on the other hand, is less diversified because all your money is riding on one company instead of being spread out among many like stocks. However, this means that any gains you make from owning shares will be much greater than those made from stocks.

What does ‘publicly listed’ mean anyway?

Many Australians know that the public markets (also known as the ‘stock market’) exist, but not everyone knows how it works. The companies listed on these markets are traded through buying and selling shares. A share gives you ownership of part of the company and so when you buy some shares you’re investing in the company. That means that when it does well, your investment does well too – this is why share prices go up or down.
It can be difficult to find out if an Australian-listed company is publicly listed, which usually involves looking at their website or searching for them on ASIC’s (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) directory. For example, if you google Optus and click on their Investor Relations link under the About Us tab, it states Optus is a wholly owned subsidiary of Singtel. That means they’re not publicly listed.

How many shares are outstanding?

OPTUS – OPT_AU (ADR) has 600,000,000 shares outstanding as of 06/30/2018. On June 6th, 2018 the number of shares was 537,020,000. It shows that in that period there was an increase of 71% in the shares outstanding. The float is 46%. The company’s stock history starts on November 17, 1987, with the IPO at $1.00 per share.
In 2006 it peaked at $6.04 per share and then started to decline until 2009 when it went below $2.00 per share which it reached its lowest point in September 2008 at $0.81 per share
It rose steadily from 2010 to 2017 when it hit its highest point of $8.09 and then dropped back down to $5.10 by September 4th, 2018
On December 27th, 2017 the share price was still above the 10-year high of $7.68 but today January 8th, 2019 it stands at only 3 year high of 725 USD/share

Who owns the shares?

The majority of shares in Australia’s largest telecoms provider Optus, are owned by institutional investors. Telstra owns just under 12% of the shares and can exercise significant influence over the company. The four major institutional investors that have together held an effective interest in 43% of the company’s shares since October 2015 are Macquarie Group Ltd, BlackRock Investment Management (UK) Ltd, State Street Corporation, and Lazard Asset Management LLC. Macquarie Group Limited manages funds on behalf of superannuation funds and other institutional investors, BlackRock also provides funds for other institutions such as pension funds and public agencies.

Other things to know about public companies

All public companies have at least one stock that is publicly traded on an exchange. All public companies are required to file reports with the SEC so the information is made available to investors and company officials. All public companies are generally held to the same accounting standards following GAAP. The term public company can also be used to refer to privately held or non-public companies, but this blog will only discuss publicly-traded or registered firms. There are different ways for a company to become public, such as issuing an initial public offering (IPO) of its stocks. Many small businesses may wish to remain private for some time after their founding, which means they don’t have any plans to make shares of their business available for purchase by the general public. A business might do this if it’s uncertain about how successful it might be in generating profits.

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