The big shareholder groups in Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) have power over the company. 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 have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.
Lowe's Companies has a market capitalization of US$127b, 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. In the chart below, we can see that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about Lowe's Companies.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Lowe's Companies?
Many institutions measure their performance against an index that approximates the local market. So they usually pay more attention to companies that are included in major indices.
As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in Lowe's Companies. 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. 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 Lowe's Companies' earnings history below. Of course, the future is what really matters.
Institutional investors own over 50% of the company, so together than can probably strongly influence board decisions. Hedge funds don't have many shares in Lowe's Companies. Our data shows that The Vanguard Group, Inc. is the largest shareholder with 8.5% of shares outstanding. BlackRock, Inc. is the second largest shareholder owning 7.8% of common stock, and State Street Global Advisors, Inc. holds about 4.6% of the company stock.
Our studies suggest that the top 25 shareholders collectively control less than half of the company's shares, meaning that the company's shares are widely disseminated and there is no dominant shareholder.
While it makes sense to study institutional ownership data for a company, it also makes sense to study analyst sentiments to know which way the wind is blowing. There are a reasonable number of analysts covering the stock, so it might be useful to find out their aggregate view on the future.
Insider Ownership Of Lowe's Companies
The definition of company insiders can be subjective and does vary between jurisdictions. Our data reflects individual insiders, capturing board members at the very least. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.
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 Lowe's Companies, Inc. in their own names. 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$217m 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 holds a 23% stake in Lowe's Companies. 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.
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. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 2 warning signs with Lowe's Companies , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
But ultimately it is the future, not the past, that will determine how well the owners of this business will do. Therefore we think it advisable to take a look at this free report showing whether analysts are predicting a brighter 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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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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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