What Kind Of Shareholder Owns Most Graham Holdings Company (NYSE:GHC) Stock?

Every investor in Graham Holdings Company (NYSE:GHC) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Institutions will often hold stock in bigger companies, and we expect to see insiders owning a noticeable percentage of the smaller ones. Warren Buffett said that he likes ‘a business with enduring competitive advantages that is run by able and owner-oriented people’. So it’s nice to see some insider ownership, because it may suggest that management is owner-oriented.

Graham Holdings is a pretty big company. It has a market capitalization of US$3.3b. Normally institutions would own a significant portion of a company this size. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it’s seems that institutional investors have bought into the company. Let’s take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about Graham Holdings.

View our latest analysis for Graham Holdings

NYSE:GHC Ownership Summary, January 19th 2020
NYSE:GHC Ownership Summary, January 19th 2020

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Graham Holdings?

Institutions typically measure themselves against a benchmark when reporting to their own investors, so they often become more enthusiastic about a stock once it’s included in a major index. We would expect most companies to have some institutions on the register, especially if they are growing.

Graham Holdings already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 73% of the company. 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 Graham Holdings’s earnings history, below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

NYSE:GHC Income Statement, January 19th 2020
NYSE:GHC Income Statement, January 19th 2020

Investors should note that institutions actually own more than half the company, so they can collectively wield significant power. Graham Holdings is not owned by hedge funds. Donald Graham is currently the largest shareholder, with 11% of shares outstanding. Next, we have Southeastern Asset Management, Inc. and BlackRock, Inc. as the second and third largest shareholders, holding 8.8% and 7.5%, of the shares outstanding, respectively.

On further inspection, we found that 50% of the share register is owned by the top 8 shareholders, suggesting that the interests of the larger shareholders are balanced out to an extent by the smaller ones.

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. We’re not picking up on any analyst coverage of the stock at the moment, so the company is unlikely to be widely held.

Insider Ownership Of Graham Holdings

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. 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.

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.

It seems insiders own a significant proportion of Graham Holdings Company. Insiders own US$463m worth of shares in the US$3.3b company. That’s quite meaningful. It is good to see this level of investment. You can check here to see if those insiders have been buying recently.

General Public Ownership

The general public holds a 13% stake in GHC. 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. Case in point: We’ve spotted 2 warning signs for Graham Holdings you should be aware of, and 1 of them can’t be ignored.

Of course this may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free free list of interesting companies.

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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