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What Kind Of Shareholders Hold The Majority In AbbVie Inc.'s (NYSE:ABBV) Shares?

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·4 min read
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If you want to know who really controls AbbVie Inc. (NYSE:ABBV), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. Companies that used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.

AbbVie is a pretty big company. It has a market capitalization of US$266b. Normally institutions would own a significant portion of a company this size. 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 AbbVie.

See our latest analysis for AbbVie

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About AbbVie?

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.

We can see that AbbVie 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. 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 AbbVie'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. AbbVie is not owned by hedge funds. The Vanguard Group, Inc. is currently the largest shareholder, with 8.5% of shares outstanding. With 7.3% and 4.4% of the shares outstanding respectively, BlackRock, Inc. and State Street Global Advisors, Inc. are the second and third largest shareholders.

A deeper look at our ownership data shows that the top 25 shareholders collectively hold less than half of the register, suggesting a large group of small holders where no single shareholder has a majority.

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 AbbVie

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.

Our data suggests that insiders own under 1% of AbbVie Inc. in their own names. It is a very large company, so it would be surprising to see insiders own a large proportion of the company. Though their holding amounts to less than 1%, we can see that board members collectively own US$185m worth of shares (at current prices). Arguably recent buying and selling is just as important to consider. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, who are usually individual investors, hold a 31% stake in AbbVie. 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. Like risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 4 warning signs for AbbVie (of which 1 makes us a bit uncomfortable!) you should know about.

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.