How Many Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) Shares Do Institutions Own?
If you want to know who really controls Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST), then you’ll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. 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.
Costco Wholesale is a pretty big company. It has a market capitalization of US$203b. 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 Costco Wholesale.
Check out our latest analysis for Costco Wholesale
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Costco Wholesale?
Institutional investors commonly compare their own returns to the returns of a commonly followed index. So they generally do consider buying larger companies that are included in the relevant benchmark index.
As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in Costco Wholesale. 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 Costco Wholesale’s historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.
Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. We note that hedge funds don’t have a meaningful investment in Costco Wholesale. The Vanguard Group, Inc. is currently the largest shareholder, with 8.4% of shares outstanding. Meanwhile, the second and third largest shareholders, hold 6.8% and 3.8%, 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. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.
Insider Ownership Of Costco Wholesale
The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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 most recent data indicates that insiders own less than 1% of Costco Wholesale Corporation. 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$482m 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 holds a 31% stake in Costco Wholesale. 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.
It’s always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Costco Wholesale better, we need to consider many other factors. Take risks for example – Costco Wholesale has 2 warning signs we think you should be aware of.
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.
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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.
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