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Institutional investors in Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:MPC) see US$2.6b decrease in market cap last week, although long-term gains have benefitted them.

·4 min read

To get a sense of who is truly in control of Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:MPC), it is important to understand the ownership structure of the business. With 81% stake, institutions possess the maximum shares in the company. Put another way, the group faces the maximum upside potential (or downside risk).

Losing money on investments is something no shareholder enjoys, least of all institutional investors who saw their holdings value drop by 5.0% last week. However, the 75% one-year return to shareholders might have softened the blow. They should, however, be mindful of further losses in the future.

Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about Marathon Petroleum.

Check out our latest analysis for Marathon Petroleum

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Marathon Petroleum?

Many institutions measure their performance against an index that approximates the local market. So they usually pay more attention to companies that are included in major indices.

Marathon Petroleum 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. If multiple institutions change their view on a stock at the same time, you could see the share price drop fast. It's therefore worth looking at Marathon Petroleum's earnings history below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

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. We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in Marathon Petroleum. The company's largest shareholder is The Vanguard Group, Inc., with ownership of 9.7%. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 8.8% and 7.7% of the stock.

On studying our ownership data, we found that 25 of the top shareholders collectively own less than 50% of the share register, implying that no single individual has a majority interest.

While it makes sense to study institutional ownership data for a company, it also makes sense to study analyst sentiments to know which way the wind is blowing. 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 Marathon Petroleum

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. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

I generally consider insider ownership to be a good thing. However, on some occasions it makes it more difficult for other shareholders to hold the board accountable for decisions.

Our data suggests that insiders own under 1% of Marathon Petroleum Corporation in their own names. Being so large, we would not expect insiders to own a large proportion of the stock. Collectively, they own US$168m of stock. 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

With a 19% ownership, the general public, mostly comprising of individual investors, have some degree of sway over Marathon Petroleum. 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:

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. To that end, you should be aware of the 1 warning sign we've spotted with Marathon Petroleum .

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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