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What Kind Of Shareholders Own Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC)?

Simply Wall St

The big shareholder groups in Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) have power over the company. 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.

Northrop Grumman is a pretty big company. It has a market capitalization of US$56b. Normally institutions would own a significant portion of a company this size. In the chart below, we can see that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Northrop Grumman.

See our latest analysis for Northrop Grumman

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Northrop Grumman?

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 Northrop Grumman. 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 Northrop Grumman'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

Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. Hedge funds don't have many shares in Northrop Grumman. Capital Research and Management Company is currently the company's largest shareholder with 14% of shares outstanding. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 9.9% and 7.7% of the stock.

We also observed that the top 8 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.

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 Northrop Grumman

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. 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.

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.

Our data suggests that insiders own under 1% of Northrop Grumman Corporation 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$224m 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 holds a 16% stake in Northrop Grumman. 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. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for Northrop Grumman you should know about.

If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its future.

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.