Institutions' substantial holdings in Thermo Fisher Scientific implies that they have significant influence over the company's share price
48% of the business is held by the top 25 shareholders
Analyst forecasts along with ownership data serve to give a strong idea about prospects for a business
If you want to know who really controls Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE:TMO), 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 90% ownership. 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 Thermo Fisher Scientific, beginning with the chart below.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Thermo Fisher Scientific?
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.
As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in Thermo Fisher Scientific. 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. When multiple institutions own a stock, there's always a risk that they are in a 'crowded trade'. When such a trade goes wrong, multiple parties may compete to sell stock fast. This risk is higher in a company without a history of growth. You can see Thermo Fisher Scientific's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.
Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in Thermo Fisher Scientific. The Vanguard Group, Inc. is currently the largest shareholder, with 8.3% of shares outstanding. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 7.7% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 4.9% by the third-largest shareholder.
A deeper look at our ownership data shows that the top 25 shareholders collectively hold less than half of the register, suggesting a large group of small holders where no single shareholder has a majority.
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. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.
Insider Ownership Of Thermo Fisher Scientific
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.
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 information suggests that Thermo Fisher Scientific 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$285m of stock. In this sort of situation, it can be more interesting to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.
General Public Ownership
The general public-- including retail investors -- own 10% 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.
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. For instance, we've identified 1 warning sign for Thermo Fisher Scientific that you should be aware of.
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.
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.