Every investor in Nestlé S.A. (VTX:NESN) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.
With a market capitalization of CHF308b, Nestlé 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. In the chart below, we can see 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 Nestlé.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Nestlé?
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 35% of Nestlé. 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 Nestlé's earnings history, below. Of course, the future is what really matters.
Hedge funds don't have many shares in Nestlé. The company's largest shareholder is BlackRock, Inc., with ownership of 4.1%, With 3.6% and 2.6% of the shares outstanding respectively, Capital Research and Management Company and Norges Bank Investment Management are the second and third largest shareholders.
Our studies suggest that the top 16 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. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.
Insider Ownership Of Nestlé
The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. Management ultimately answers to the board. However, it is not uncommon for managers to be executive board members, especially if they are a founder or the CEO.
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.
Our data suggests that insiders own under 1% of Nestlé S.A. in their own names. 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 CHF229m worth of shares. 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, who are mostly retail investors, collectively hold 65% of Nestlé shares. 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.
I find it very interesting to look at who exactly owns a company. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Be aware that Nestlé is showing 2 warning signs in our investment analysis , you should know about...
If you would prefer discover what analysts are predicting in terms of future growth, do not miss this free report on analyst forecasts.
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 email@example.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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