With 83% institutional ownership, APA Corporation (NASDAQ:APA) is a favorite amongst the big guns

By
Simply Wall St
Published
March 14, 2022
NasdaqGS:APA
Source: Shutterstock

To get a sense of who is truly in control of APA Corporation (NASDAQ:APA), it is important to understand the ownership structure of the business. The group holding the most number of shares in the company, around 83% to be precise, is institutions. Put another way, the group faces the maximum upside potential (or downside risk).

Because institutional owners have a huge pool of resources and liquidity, their investing decisions tend to carry a great deal of weight, especially with individual investors. Therefore, a good portion of institutional money invested in the company is usually a huge vote of confidence on its future.

In the chart below, we zoom in on the different ownership groups of APA.

Check out our latest analysis for APA

ownership-breakdown
NasdaqGS:APA Ownership Breakdown March 14th 2022

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About APA?

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.

APA already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. This suggests some credibility amongst professional investors. But we can't rely on that fact alone since institutions make bad investments sometimes, just like everyone does. 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 APA's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
NasdaqGS:APA Earnings and Revenue Growth March 14th 2022

Institutional investors own over 50% of the company, so together than can probably strongly influence board decisions. It looks like hedge funds own 5.4% of APA shares. That catches my attention because hedge funds sometimes try to influence management, or bring about changes that will create near term value for shareholders. Our data shows that The Vanguard Group, Inc. is the largest shareholder with 13% of shares outstanding. With 9.9% and 6.6% of the shares outstanding respectively, State Street Global Advisors, Inc. and BlackRock, Inc. are the second and third largest shareholders.

We also observed that the top 9 shareholders account for more than half of the share register, with a few smaller shareholders to balance the interests of the larger ones to a certain extent.

While studying institutional ownership for a company can add value to your research, it is also a good practice to research analyst recommendations to get a deeper understand of a stock's expected performance. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of APA

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.

Our information suggests that APA Corporation insiders own under 1% of the 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$54m worth of shares (at current prices). 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 11% ownership, the general public, mostly comprising of individual investors, have some degree of sway over APA. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

Next Steps:

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. For example, we've discovered 5 warning signs for APA that you should be aware of before investing here.

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.

Discounted cash flow calculation for every stock

Simply Wall St does a detailed discounted cash flow calculation every 6 hours for every stock on the market, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any company just search here. It’s FREE.

Make Confident Investment Decisions

Simply Wall St's Editorial Team provides unbiased, factual reporting on global stocks using in-depth fundamental analysis.
Find out more about our editorial guidelines and team.