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Institutional investors may overlook ONEOK, Inc.'s (NYSE:OKE) recent US$1.0b market cap drop as long-term gains remain positive

·4 min read

Every investor in ONEOK, Inc. (NYSE:OKE) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. The group holding the most number of shares in the company, around 68% to be precise, is institutions. Put another way, the group faces the maximum upside potential (or downside risk).

No shareholder likes losing money on their investments, especially institutional investors who saw their holdings drop 3.6% in value last week. However, the 16% one-year returns may have helped alleviate their overall losses. We would assume however, that they would be on the lookout for weakness in the future.

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

Check out our latest analysis for ONEOK

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About ONEOK?

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.

We can see that ONEOK does have institutional investors; and they hold a good portion of the company's 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 ONEOK'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

Investors should note that institutions actually own more than half the company, so they can collectively wield significant power. We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in ONEOK. Our data shows that The Vanguard Group, Inc. is the largest shareholder with 12% of shares outstanding. BlackRock, Inc. is the second largest shareholder owning 10% of common stock, and State Street Global Advisors, Inc. holds about 7.4% of the company stock.

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.

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 plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of ONEOK

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 data suggests that insiders own under 1% of ONEOK, Inc. in their own names. As it is a large company, we'd only expect insiders to own a small percentage of it. But it's worth noting that they own US$179m worth of shares. In this sort of situation, it can be more interesting to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public-- including retail investors -- own 31% stake in the company, and hence can't easily be ignored. While this size of ownership may not be enough to sway a policy decision in their favour, they can still make a collective impact on company policies.

Next Steps:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand ONEOK better, we need to consider many other factors. Be aware that ONEOK is showing 3 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 2 of those are concerning...

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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