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Can We See Significant Institutional Ownership On The Illinois Tool Works Inc. (NYSE:ITW) Share Register?

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The big shareholder groups in Illinois Tool Works Inc. (NYSE:ITW) have power over the company. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. We also tend to see lower insider ownership in companies that were previously publicly owned.

Illinois Tool Works is a pretty big company. It has a market capitalization of US$49b. Normally institutions would own a significant portion of a company this size. In the chart below below, we can see that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholder can tell us about ITW.

Check out our latest analysis for Illinois Tool Works

NYSE:ITW Ownership Summary, June 13th 2019

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Illinois Tool Works?

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.

Illinois Tool Works already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 80% of the company. 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 Illinois Tool Works's historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

NYSE:ITW Income Statement, June 13th 2019

Institutional investors own over 50% of the company, so together than can probably strongly influence board decisions. Hedge funds don't have many shares in Illinois Tool Works. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of Illinois Tool Works

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.

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 Illinois Tool Works Inc. in their own names. Being so large, we would not expect insiders to own a large proportion of the stock. Collectively, they own US$483m of stock. 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

With a 19% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over ITW. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important.

Many find it useful to take an in depth look at how a company has performed in the past. You can access this detailed graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow .

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.

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.