- Given the large stake in the stock by institutions, Amazon.com’s stock price might be vulnerable to their trading decisions
- The top 25 shareholders own 46% of the company
- 12% of Amazon.com is held by insiders
A look at the shareholders of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) can tell us which group is most powerful. The group holding the most number of shares in the company, around 60% 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. As a result, a sizeable amount of institutional money invested in a firm is generally viewed as a positive attribute.
Let’s delve deeper into each type of owner of Amazon.com, beginning with the chart below.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Amazon.com?
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 Amazon.com. 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 Amazon.com’s 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 Amazon.com. Because actions speak louder than words, we consider it a good sign when insiders own a significant stake in a company. In Amazon.com’s case, its Top Key Executive, Jeffrey Bezos, is the largest shareholder, holding 9.6% of shares outstanding. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 7.0% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 5.9% 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 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 plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.
Insider Ownership Of Amazon.com
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.
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 most recent data indicates that insiders own a reasonable proportion of Amazon.com, Inc.. It is very interesting to see that insiders have a meaningful US$166b stake in this US$1.4t business. Most would say this shows a good degree of alignment with shareholders, especially in a company of this size. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.
General Public Ownership
The general public– including retail investors — own 28% stake in the company, and hence can’t easily be ignored. 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.
It’s always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Amazon.com better, we need to consider many other factors.
I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can find historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.
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.
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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.