Stock Analysis

What Kind Of Shareholder Owns Most BHP Group (ASX:BHP) Stock?

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ASX:BHP
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A look at the shareholders of BHP Group (ASX:BHP) can tell us which group is most powerful. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. We also tend to see lower insider ownership in companies that were previously publicly owned.

With a market capitalization of AU$161b, BHP Group is rather large. We'd expect to see institutional investors on the register. Companies of this size are usually well known to retail investors, too. 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 BHP Group.

Check out our latest analysis for BHP Group

ASX:BHP Ownership Summary, February 28th 2020
ASX:BHP Ownership Summary, February 28th 2020

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About BHP Group?

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 49% of BHP Group. 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. It is not uncommon to see a big share price drop if two large institutional investors try to sell out of a stock at the same time. So it is worth checking the past earnings trajectory of BHP Group, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

ASX:BHP Income Statement, February 28th 2020
ASX:BHP Income Statement, February 28th 2020

We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in BHP Group. BlackRock, Inc. is currently the company's largest shareholder with 6.6% of shares outstanding. The second and third largest shareholders are The Vanguard Group, Inc. and Norges Bank Investment Management, holding 3.8% and 2.1%, respectively.

Our studies suggest that the top 25 shareholders collectively control less than 50% of the company's shares, meaning that the company's shares are widely disseminated and there is no dominant shareholder.

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 BHP Group

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

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 information suggests that BHP Group insiders own under 1% of the company. As it is a large company, we'd only expect insiders to own a small percentage of it. But it's worth noting that they own AU$40m worth of shares. In this sort of situation, it can be more interesting to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public -- mostly retail investors -- own 51% of BHP Group. 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.

Next Steps:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand BHP Group better, we need to consider many other factors. Be aware that BHP Group is showing 3 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those is significant...

But ultimately it is the future, not the past, that will determine how well the owners of this business will do. Therefore we think it advisable to take a look at this free report showing whether analysts are predicting a brighter 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.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.