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Every investor in Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.
With a market capitalization of US$210b, Bank of America is rather large. We'd expect to see institutional investors on the register. Companies of this size are usually well known to retail investors, too. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it's seems that institutions own shares in the company. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about Bank of America.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Bank of America?
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 Bank of America does have institutional investors; and they hold a good portion of the company's stock. This implies the analysts working for those institutions have looked at the stock and they like it. But just like anyone else, they could be wrong. 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 Bank of America's historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.
Investors should note that institutions actually own more than half the company, so they can collectively wield significant power. Hedge funds don't have many shares in Bank of America. Looking at our data, we can see that the largest shareholder is Berkshire Hathaway Inc. with 11% of shares outstanding. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 7.3% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 6.2% by the third-largest shareholder.
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.
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. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.
Insider Ownership Of Bank of America
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.
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 Bank of America 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$243m worth of shares. 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
The general public, with a 29% stake in the company, will not 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.
Public Company Ownership
Public companies currently own 11% of Bank of America stock. We can't be certain, but this is quite possible this is a strategic stake. The businesses may be similar, or work together.
It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Bank of America better, we need to consider many other factors.
I always like to check for a history of revenue growth. You can too, by accessing this free chart of historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.
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.
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.
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