What Kind Of Shareholder Owns Most The Sherwin-Williams Company (NYSE:SHW) Stock?

The big shareholder groups in The Sherwin-Williams Company (NYSE:SHW) have power over the company. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. Companies that used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.

Sherwin-Williams has a market capitalization of US$54b, so it’s too big to fly under the radar. We’d expect to see both institutions and retail investors owning a portion of the company. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it’s seems that institutional investors have bought into the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Sherwin-Williams.

See our latest analysis for Sherwin-Williams

NYSE:SHW Ownership Summary, January 20th 2020
NYSE:SHW Ownership Summary, January 20th 2020

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Sherwin-Williams?

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 79% of Sherwin-Williams. 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. 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 Sherwin-Williams’s earnings history, below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

NYSE:SHW Income Statement, January 20th 2020
NYSE:SHW Income Statement, January 20th 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 Sherwin-Williams. Our data shows that Sherwin Williams Company, ESOP is the largest shareholder with 10% of shares outstanding. The second largest shareholder with 7.9%, is The Vanguard Group, Inc., followed by BlackRock, Inc., with an ownership of 6.2%.

Additionally, we found that the top 15 have the combined ownership of 51% in the company, suggesting that no one share holder has significant control over the company.

Researching institutional ownership is a good way to gauge and filter a stock’s expected performance. The same can be achieved by studying analyst sentiments. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of Sherwin-Williams

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.

I generally consider insider ownership to be a good thing. However, on some occasions it makes it more difficult for other shareholders to hold the board accountable for decisions.

Our most recent data indicates that insiders own less than 1% of The Sherwin-Williams Company. It is a very large company, so it would be surprising to see insiders own a large proportion of the company. Though their holding amounts to less than 1%, we can see that board members collectively own US$147m worth of shares (at current prices). It is good to see board members owning shares, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 10% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. While this size of ownership may not be enough to sway a policy decision in their favour, they can still make a collective impact on company policies.

Next Steps:

It’s always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Sherwin-Williams better, we need to consider many other factors. To that end, you should be aware of the 1 warning sign we’ve spotted with Sherwin-Williams .

Ultimately the future is most important. You can access this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

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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