Stock Analysis

A great week that adds to Freeport-McMoRan Inc.'s (NYSE:FCX) one-year returns, institutional investors who own 79% must be happy

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NYSE:FCX
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Every investor in Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE:FCX) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. With 79% stake, institutions possess the maximum shares in the company. In other words, the group stands to gain the most (or lose the most) from their investment into the company.

And last week, institutional investors ended up benefitting the most after the company hit US$56b in market cap. One-year return to shareholders is currently 5.8% and last week’s gain was the icing on the cake.

Let's delve deeper into each type of owner of Freeport-McMoRan, beginning with the chart below.

View our latest analysis for Freeport-McMoRan

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NYSE:FCX Ownership Breakdown December 6th 2022

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Freeport-McMoRan?

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 have a fair amount of stake in Freeport-McMoRan. 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. 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 Freeport-McMoRan, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

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NYSE:FCX Earnings and Revenue Growth December 6th 2022

Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in Freeport-McMoRan. Looking at our data, we can see that the largest shareholder is The Vanguard Group, Inc. with 8.1% of shares outstanding. BlackRock, Inc. is the second largest shareholder owning 7.7% of common stock, and FMR LLC holds about 6.2% of the company stock.

Looking at the shareholder registry, we can see that 51% of the ownership is controlled by the top 19 shareholders, meaning that no single shareholder has a majority interest in the ownership.

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. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of Freeport-McMoRan

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

I generally consider insider ownership to be a good thing. However, on some occasions it makes it more difficult for other shareholders to hold the board accountable for decisions.

Our information suggests that Freeport-McMoRan Inc. 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$232m worth of shares (at current prices). It is always good to see at least some insider ownership, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, who are usually individual investors, hold a 21% stake in Freeport-McMoRan. This size of ownership, while considerable, may not be enough to change company policy if the decision is not in sync with other large shareholders.

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. Case in point: We've spotted 2 warning signs for Freeport-McMoRan you should be aware of, and 1 of them is a bit concerning.

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

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