A look at the shareholders of Accenture plc (NYSE:ACN) can tell us which group is most powerful. We can see that institutions own the lion's share in the company with 76% ownership. In other words, the group stands to gain the most (or lose the most) from their investment into the company.
Institutional investors would probably welcome last week's 3.9% increase in share prices after a year of 12% losses as a sign that returns are likely to begin trending higher.
In the chart below, we zoom in on the different ownership groups of Accenture.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Accenture?
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.
Accenture 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. It is not uncommon to see a big share price drop if two large institutional investors try to sell out of a stock at the same time. So it is worth checking the past earnings trajectory of Accenture, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.
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 Accenture. Looking at our data, we can see that the largest shareholder is The Vanguard Group, Inc. with 9.1% of shares outstanding. With 7.3% and 4.1% of the shares outstanding respectively, BlackRock, Inc. and State Street Global Advisors, Inc. are the second and third largest shareholders.
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.
Researching institutional ownership is a good way to gauge and filter a stock's expected performance. The same can be achieved by studying analyst sentiments. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.
Insider Ownership Of Accenture
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. The company management answer to the board and the latter should represent the interests of shareholders. Notably, sometimes top-level managers are on the board themselves.
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 data suggests that insiders own under 1% of Accenture plc 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$148m worth of shares. It is always good to see at least some insider ownership, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.
General Public Ownership
The general public, who are usually individual investors, hold a 24% stake in Accenture. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important.
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.
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.
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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.
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