Bayer's significant retail investors ownership suggests that the key decisions are influenced by shareholders from the larger public
The top 25 shareholders own 35% of the company
To get a sense of who is truly in control of Bayer Aktiengesellschaft (ETR:BAYN), it is important to understand the ownership structure of the business. With 56% stake, retail investors possess the maximum shares in the company. Put another way, the group faces the maximum upside potential (or downside risk).
Meanwhile, institutions make up 44% of the company’s shareholders. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time.
Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about Bayer.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Bayer?
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.
Bayer 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 Bayer's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.
Bayer is not owned by hedge funds. The company's largest shareholder is BlackRock, Inc., with ownership of 4.9%. The Vanguard Group, Inc. is the second largest shareholder owning 3.8% of common stock, and Massachusetts Financial Services Company holds about 3.0% of the company stock.
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.
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 plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.
Insider Ownership Of Bayer
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. 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.
We note our data does not show any board members holding shares, personally. Not all jurisdictions have the same rules around disclosing insider ownership, and it is possible we have missed something, here. So you can click here learn more about the CEO.
General Public Ownership
The general public -- including retail investors -- own 56% of Bayer. This size of ownership gives investors from the general public some collective power. They can and probably do influence decisions on executive compensation, dividend policies and proposed business acquisitions.
It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Bayer better, we need to consider many other factors. For instance, we've identified 4 warning signs for Bayer (2 are a bit concerning) that you should be aware of.
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.
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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.