Do Directors Own Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) Shares?

The big shareholder groups in Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) have power over the company. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. Companies that used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.

Walmart has a market capitalization of US$286b, 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. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutional investors have bought into the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about WMT.

See our latest analysis for Walmart

NYSE:WMT Ownership Summary November 20th 18
NYSE:WMT Ownership Summary November 20th 18

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Walmart?

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.

We can see that Walmart does have institutional investors; and they hold 30% of the stock. 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. When multiple institutions own a stock, there’s always a risk that they are in a ‘crowded trade’. When such a trade goes wrong, multiple parties may compete to sell stock fast. This risk is higher in a company without a history of growth. You can see Walmart’s historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.

NYSE:WMT Income Statement Export November 20th 18
NYSE:WMT Income Statement Export November 20th 18

Hedge funds don’t have many shares in Walmart. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of Walmart

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.

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.

I can report that insiders do own shares in Walmart Inc. Insiders own US$2.9b worth of shares (at current prices). 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, with a 19% 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.

Private Company Ownership

We can see that Private Companies own 50%, of the shares on issue. It’s hard to draw any conclusions from this fact alone, so its worth looking into who owns those private companies. Sometimes insiders or other related parties have an interest in shares in a public company through a separate private company.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important.

I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can find historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.

If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow of 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.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.