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Here's What Graham Holdings Company's (NYSE:GHC) Shareholder Ownership Structure Looks Like

Simply Wall St
·4 min read

If you want to know who really controls Graham Holdings Company (NYSE:GHC), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it's not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of smaller companies. I generally like to see some degree of insider ownership, even if only a little. As Nassim Nicholas Taleb said, 'Don’t tell me what you think, tell me what you have in your portfolio.

Graham Holdings has a market capitalization of US$2.1b, so we would expect some institutional investors to have noticed the stock. In the chart below, we can see that institutions own shares in the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Graham Holdings.

View our latest analysis for Graham Holdings

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Graham Holdings?

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.

As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in Graham Holdings. This can indicate that the company has a certain degree of credibility in the investment community. However, it is best to be wary of relying on the supposed validation that comes with institutional investors. They too, get it wrong sometimes. 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 Graham Holdings' 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 Graham Holdings. Looking at our data, we can see that the largest shareholder is Donald Graham with 11% of shares outstanding. With 8.0% and 7.6% of the shares outstanding respectively, BlackRock, Inc. and The Vanguard Group, Inc. are the second and third largest shareholders. Additionally, the company's CEO Timothy O’Shaughnessy directly holds 1.5% of the total shares outstanding.

We also observed that the top 10 shareholders account for more than half of the share register, with a few smaller shareholders to balance the interests of the larger ones to a certain extent.

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. Our information suggests that there isn't any analyst coverage of the stock, so it is probably little known.

Insider Ownership Of Graham Holdings

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. 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.

It seems insiders own a significant proportion of Graham Holdings Company. It has a market capitalization of just US$2.1b, and insiders have US$308m worth of shares in their own names. That's quite significant. Most would say this shows a good degree of alignment with shareholders, especially in a company of this size. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 14% stake in the company, will not 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.

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 2 warning signs for Graham Holdings that you should be aware of.

If you would prefer check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of interesting companies, backed by strong financial data.

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.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team@simplywallst.com.