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Following a 10% decline over last year, recent gains may please Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU) institutional owners

If you want to know who really controls Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. The group holding the most number of shares in the company, around 41% 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.

Institutional investors would probably welcome last week's 4.7% increase in share prices after a year of 10% losses as a sign that returns are likely to begin trending higher.

Let's delve deeper into each type of owner of Baidu, beginning with the chart below.

Check out our latest analysis for Baidu

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Baidu?

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 Baidu. 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. 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 Baidu, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

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

We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in Baidu. Looking at our data, we can see that the largest shareholder is the CEO Yanhong Li with 20% of shares outstanding. Meanwhile, the second and third largest shareholders, hold 3.8% and 3.1%, of the shares outstanding, respectively.

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 Baidu

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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 information suggests that insiders maintain a significant holding in Baidu, Inc.. It has a market capitalization of just US$48b, and insiders have US$9.8b worth of shares in their own names. That's quite significant. 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

With a 39% ownership, the general public, mostly comprising of individual investors, have some degree of sway over Baidu. 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.

Many find it useful to take an in depth look at how a company has performed in the past. You can access this detailed graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

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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