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How Much Of BP p.l.c. (LON:BP.) Do Institutions Own?

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Simply Wall St
·4 min read
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A look at the shareholders of BP p.l.c. (LON:BP.) can tell us which group is most powerful. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. Companies that used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.

BP is a pretty big company. It has a market capitalization of UK£59b. Normally institutions would own a significant portion of a company this size. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it seems that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about BP.

View our latest analysis for BP

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About BP?

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.

BP already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. 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 BP'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. BP is not owned by hedge funds. BlackRock, Inc. is currently the company's largest shareholder with 7.9% of shares outstanding. Meanwhile, the second and third largest shareholders, hold 4.1% and 3.2%, of the shares outstanding, respectively.

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 BP

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.

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 information suggests that BP p.l.c. insiders own under 1% of the company. 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 UK£17m 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 holds a 30% stake in BP. 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:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand BP better, we need to consider many other factors. Like risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for BP (of which 1 is a bit concerning!) you should know about.

But ultimately it is the future, not the past, that will determine how well the owners of this business will do. Therefore we think it advisable to take a look at this free report showing whether analysts are predicting a brighter 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 (at) simplywallst.com.