With 54% institutional ownership, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is a favorite amongst the big guns

If you want to know who really controls Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), then you’ll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. We can see that institutions own the lion’s share in the company with 54% ownership. In other words, the group stands to gain the most (or lose the most) from their investment into the company.

Since institutional have access to huge amounts of capital, their market moves tend to receive a lot of scrutiny by retail or individual investors. Hence, having a considerable amount of institutional money invested in a company is often regarded as a desirable trait.

Let’s take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about Apple.

Check out our latest analysis for Apple

ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Apple?

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.

Apple already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. 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. 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 Apple’s earnings history below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

earnings-and-revenue-growth

Investors should note that institutions actually own more than half the company, so they can collectively wield significant power. Hedge funds don’t have many shares in Apple. The Vanguard Group, Inc. is currently the company’s largest shareholder with 8.1% of shares outstanding. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 6.4% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 5.7% by the third-largest shareholder.

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 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 Apple

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.

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 Apple Inc. in their own names. As it is a large company, we’d only expect insiders to own a small percentage of it. But it’s worth noting that they own US$1.5b worth of shares. It is good to see board members owning shares, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.

General Public Ownership

With a 40% ownership, the general public, mostly comprising of individual investors, have some degree of sway over Apple. While this group can’t necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

Public Company Ownership

It appears to us that public companies own 5.7% of Apple. This may be a strategic interest and the two companies may have related business interests. It could be that they have de-merged. This holding is probably worth investigating further.

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. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we’ve spotted 2 warning signs for Apple you should know about.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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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