If you want to know who really controls Palo Alto Networks, Inc. (NYSE:PANW), then you’ll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it’s not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of smaller companies. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.
Palo Alto Networks has a market capitalization of US$34b, so it’s too big to fly under the radar. We’d expect to see both institutions and retail investors owning a portion of the company. In the chart below, we can see that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let’s delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about Palo Alto Networks.
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What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Palo Alto Networks?
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.
As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in Palo Alto Networks. 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. 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 Palo Alto Networks, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.
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 Palo Alto Networks. Our data shows that The Vanguard Group, Inc. is the largest shareholder with 8.6% of shares outstanding. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 6.1% and 3.1% of the stock.
Looking at the shareholder registry, we can see that 50% of the ownership is controlled by the top 25 shareholders, meaning that no single shareholder has a majority interest in the ownership.
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 Palo Alto Networks
The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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.
I can report that insiders do own shares in Palo Alto Networks, Inc.. The insiders have a meaningful stake worth US$736m. Most would say this shows a good alignment of interests between shareholders and the board. Still, it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.
General Public Ownership
With a 12% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over Palo Alto Networks. 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.
It’s always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Palo Alto Networks 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.
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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