The big shareholder groups in The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) have power over the company. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. We also tend to see lower insider ownership in companies that were previously publicly owned.
With a market capitalization of US$238b, Walt Disney is rather large. We'd expect to see institutional investors on the register. Companies of this size are usually well known to retail investors, too. In the chart below below, we can see that institutional investors have bought into the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about DIS.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Walt Disney?
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.
We can see that Walt Disney does have institutional investors; and they hold 55% of the stock. 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. 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 Walt Disney's historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.
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 Walt Disney. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.
Insider Ownership Of Walt Disney
The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. Management ultimately answers to the board. However, it is not uncommon for managers to be executive board members, especially if they are a founder or the CEO.
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 most recent data indicates that insiders own less than 1% of The Walt Disney Company. It is a very large company, so it would be surprising to see insiders own a large proportion of the company. Though their holding amount to less than 1%, we can see that board members collectively own US$38m worth of shares (at current prices). 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 holds a 45% stake in DIS. 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.
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.
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.
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