Every investor in Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it's not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of smaller companies. Companies that used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.
Walmart has a market capitalization of US$393b, 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. Let's delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about Walmart.
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 a good portion of the company's stock. 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 Walmart, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.
Hedge funds don't have many shares in Walmart. Walton Enterprises, LLC is currently the company's largest shareholder with 36% of shares outstanding. Walton Family is the second largest shareholder owning 11% of common stock, and The Vanguard Group, Inc. holds about 4.7% of the company stock.
A more detailed study of the shareholder registry showed us that 3 of the top shareholders have a considerable amount of ownership in the company, via their 52% stake.
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 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.
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 Walmart Inc. in their own names. We do note, however, it is possible insiders have an indirect interest through a private company or other corporate structure. Being so large, we would not expect insiders to own a large proportion of the stock. Collectively, they own US$3.5b of stock. In this sort of situation, it can be more interesting to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.
General Public Ownership
With a 22% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over Walmart. 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
It seems that Private Companies own 47%, of the Walmart stock. 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.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. For instance, we've identified 3 warning signs for Walmart that you should be aware of.
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.
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