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FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX) is largely controlled by institutional shareholders who own 76% of the company

Key Insights

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

  • A total of 20 investors have a majority stake in the company with 51% ownership

  • Analyst forecasts along with ownership data serve to give a strong idea about prospects for a business

To get a sense of who is truly in control of FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX), it is important to understand the ownership structure of the business. The group holding the most number of shares in the company, around 76% to be precise, is institutions. In other words, the group stands to gain the most (or lose the most) from their investment into the company.

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. Therefore, a good portion of institutional money invested in the company is usually a huge vote of confidence on its future.

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

See our latest analysis for FedEx

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About FedEx?

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.

FedEx already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. 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 FedEx's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

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

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 FedEx. From our data, we infer that the largest shareholder is Frederick Smith (who also holds the title of Top Key Executive) with 7.8% of shares outstanding. Its usually considered a good sign when insiders own a significant number of shares in the company, and in this case, we're glad to see a company insider play the role of a key stakeholder. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 7.4% and 6.4% of the stock.

Looking at the shareholder registry, we can see that 51% of the ownership is controlled by the top 20 shareholders, meaning that no single shareholder has a majority interest in the ownership.

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 a reasonable number of analysts covering the stock, so it might be useful to find out their aggregate view on the future.

Insider Ownership Of FedEx

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. 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.

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.

We can see that insiders own shares in FedEx Corporation. Insiders own US$5.1b worth of shares (at current prices). It is good to see this level of investment. You can check here to see if those insiders have been buying recently.

General Public Ownership

The general public, who are usually individual investors, hold a 16% stake in FedEx. 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.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. For instance, we've identified 1 warning sign for FedEx that you should be aware of.

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.

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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