How Much Of GW Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ:GWPH) Do Institutions Own?

Every investor in GW Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ:GWPH) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it’s not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of smaller companies. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.

GW Pharmaceuticals is a pretty big company. It has a market capitalization of US$3.5b. Normally institutions would own a significant portion of a company this size. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions own shares in the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about GW Pharmaceuticals.

View our latest analysis for GW Pharmaceuticals

NasdaqGM:GWPH Ownership Summary, January 27th 2020
NasdaqGM:GWPH Ownership Summary, January 27th 2020

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About GW Pharmaceuticals?

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 own 87% of GW Pharmaceuticals. 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 GW Pharmaceuticals’s earnings history, below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

NasdaqGM:GWPH Income Statement, January 27th 2020
NasdaqGM:GWPH Income Statement, January 27th 2020

Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. We note that hedge funds don’t have a meaningful investment in GW Pharmaceuticals. Capital Research and Management Company is currently the largest shareholder, with 15% of shares outstanding. Franklin Resources, Inc. is the second largest shareholder with 5.9% of common stock, followed by Morgan Stanley, Investment Banking and Brokerage Investments, holding 5.1% of the stock.

A closer look at our ownership figures suggests that the top 12 shareholders have a combined ownership of 52% implying that no one share holder has a majority.

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

Insider Ownership Of GW Pharmaceuticals

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.

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 GW Pharmaceuticals plc. The insiders have a meaningful stake worth US$96m. Most would see this as a real positive. Most would say this shows alignment of interests between shareholders and the board. Still, it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 10% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. 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 – GW Pharmaceuticals has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.

If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its 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.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

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