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How Much Of UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH) Do Institutions Own?

Simply Wall St

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If you want to know who really controls UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. We also tend to see lower insider ownership in companies that were previously publicly owned.

With a market capitalization of US$233b, UnitedHealth Group 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 delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about UNH.

See our latest analysis for UnitedHealth Group

NYSE:UNH Ownership Summary, June 15th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About UnitedHealth Group?

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 UnitedHealth Group does have institutional investors; and they hold 88% of the stock. 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. It is not uncommon to see a big share price drop if two large institutional investors try to sell out of a stock at the same time. So it is worth checking the past earnings trajectory of UnitedHealth Group, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

NYSE:UNH Income Statement, June 15th 2019

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 UnitedHealth Group. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of UnitedHealth Group

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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 information suggests that UnitedHealth Group Incorporated insiders own under 1% of the company. Being so large, we would not expect insiders to own a large proportion of the stock. Collectively, they own US$1.5b of stock. It is good to see board members owning shares, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.

General Public Ownership

With a 11% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over UNH. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

Next Steps:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand UnitedHealth Group 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.

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.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.