What Does Apple Inc’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Ownership Structure Look Like?

Today, I will be analyzing Apple Inc’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) recent ownership structure, an important but not-so-popular subject among individual investors. Ownership structure of a company has been found to affect share performance over time. The same amount of capital coming from an activist institution and a passive mutual fund has different implications on corporate governance, which is a decisive factor for a long-term investor. It also impacts the trading environment of company shares, which is more of a concern for short-term investors. Now I will analyze AAPL’s shareholder registry in more detail.

Check out our latest analysis for Apple
NasdaqGS:AAPL Ownership_summary Mar 13th 18
NasdaqGS:AAPL Ownership_summary Mar 13th 18

Institutional Ownership

With an institutional ownership of 59.45%, AAPL can face volatile stock price movements if institutions execute block trades on the open market, more so, when there are relatively small amounts of shares available on the market to trade However, as not all institutions are alike, such high volatility events, especially in the short-term, have been more frequently linked to active market participants like hedge funds. For shareholders in AAPL, sharp price movements may not be a major concern as active hedge funds hold a relatively small stake in the company. Although this doesn’t necessarily lead to high short-term volatility, we should dig deeper into AAPL’s ownership structure to find how the remaining owner types can affect its investment profile.

Insider Ownership

Insiders form another group of important ownership types as they manage the company’s operations and decide the best use of capital. Insider ownership has been linked to better alignment between management and shareholders. AAPL insiders may only hold a a minor stake in the company, but this is a relatively significant holding given it is a large-cap stock. A higher level of insider ownership has been linked to management executing on high-returning projects instead of expansion projects for the sake of apparent growth. It would also be interesting to check what insiders have been doing with their shareholding recently. Insider buying can be a positive indicator of future performance, but a selling decision can be simply driven by personal financial requirements.
NasdaqGS:AAPL Insider_trading Mar 13th 18
NasdaqGS:AAPL Insider_trading Mar 13th 18

General Public Ownership

A substantial ownership of 37.23% in AAPL is held by the general public. This size of ownership gives retail investors collective power in deciding on major policy decisions such as executive compensation, appointment of directors and acquisitions of businesses. This level of ownership gives retail investors the power to sway key policy decisions such as board composition, executive compensation, and potential acquisitions. This is a positive sign for an investor who wants to be involved in key decision-making of the company.

Private Company Ownership

Another important group of owners for potential investors in AAPL are private companies that hold a stake of 0.000099% in AAPL. These are companies that are mainly invested due to their strategic interests or are incentivized by reaping capital gains on investments their shareholdings. However, an ownership of this size may be relatively insignificant, meaning that these shareholders may not have the potential to influence AAPL’s business strategy. Thus, investors not need worry too much about the consequences of these holdings.

Next Steps:

AAPL’s considerably high level of institutional ownership calls for further analysis into its margin of safety. This will allow investors to reduce the impact of non-fundamental factors, such as volatile block trading impact on their portfolio value. However, ownership structure should not be the only focus of your research when constructing an investment thesis around AAPL. Instead, you should be evaluating company-specific factors such as Apple’s past track record and financial health. I urge you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

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.