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With 77% ownership of the shares, Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) is heavily dominated by institutional owners

Key Insights

  • Significantly high institutional ownership implies Visa's stock price is sensitive to their trading actions

  • 39% of the business is held by the top 25 shareholders

  • Recent sales by insiders

To get a sense of who is truly in control of Visa Inc. (NYSE:V), it is important to understand the ownership structure of the business. We can see that institutions own the lion's share in the company with 77% ownership. That is, the group stands to benefit the most if the stock rises (or lose the most if there is a downturn).

Given the vast amount of money and research capacities at their disposal, institutional ownership tends to carry a lot of weight, especially with individual investors. Hence, having a considerable amount of institutional money invested in a company is often regarded as a desirable trait.

In the chart below, we zoom in on the different ownership groups of Visa.

Check out our latest analysis for Visa

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Visa?

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.

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

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. Hedge funds don't have many shares in Visa. Our data shows that The Vanguard Group, Inc. is the largest shareholder with 7.0% of shares outstanding. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 6.2% and 3.6% of the 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 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 Visa

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

Insider ownership is positive when it signals leadership are thinking like the true owners of the company. However, high insider ownership can also give immense power to a small group within the company. This can be negative in some circumstances.

Our information suggests that Visa Inc. insiders own under 1% of the company. Being so large, we would not expect insiders to own a large proportion of the stock. Collectively, they own US$212m of stock. Arguably recent buying and selling is just as important to consider. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public-- including retail investors -- own 23% stake in the company, and hence can't easily be ignored. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

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. Be aware that Visa is showing 1 warning sign in our investment analysis , you should know about...

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.

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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