Anglo American plc (LON:AAL) is favoured by institutional owners who hold 66% of the company

Key Insights

  • Given the large stake in the stock by institutions, Anglo American's stock price might be vulnerable to their trading decisions

  • A total of 20 investors have a majority stake in the company with 51% ownership

  • Analyst forecasts along with ownership data serve to give a strong idea about prospects for a business

Every investor in Anglo American plc (LON:AAL) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. With 66% stake, institutions possess the maximum shares in the company. Put another way, the group faces the maximum upside potential (or downside risk).

Given the vast amount of money and research capacities at their disposal, institutional ownership tends to carry a lot of weight, especially with individual investors. As a result, a sizeable amount of institutional money invested in a firm is generally viewed as a positive attribute.

In the chart below, we zoom in on the different ownership groups of Anglo American.

See our latest analysis for Anglo American

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Anglo American?

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.

We can see that Anglo American does have institutional investors; and they hold a good portion of the company's stock. 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 Anglo American, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

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 Anglo American. Our data shows that BlackRock, Inc. is the largest shareholder with 8.5% of shares outstanding. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 7.3% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 4.4% by the third-largest shareholder.

After doing some more digging, we found that the top 20 have the combined ownership of 51% in the company, suggesting that no single shareholder has significant control over the company.

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 Anglo American

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.

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.

Our data suggests that insiders own under 1% of Anglo American plc in their own names. But they may have an indirect interest through a corporate structure that we haven't picked up on. Being so large, we would not expect insiders to own a large proportion of the stock. Collectively, they own UK£38m 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

The general public, who are usually individual investors, hold a 15% stake in Anglo American. 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.

Private Company Ownership

Our data indicates that Private Companies hold 10.0%, of the company's shares. It might be worth looking deeper into this. If related parties, such as insiders, have an interest in one of these private companies, that should be disclosed in the annual report. Private companies may also have a strategic interest in the company.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Be aware that Anglo American is showing 3 warning signs in our investment analysis , you should know about…

Ultimately the future is most important. You can access this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.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.

Matt Earle

Matthew Earle is the Founder of MiningFeeds. In 2005, Matt founded MiningNerds.com to provide data and information to the mining investment community. This site was merged with Highgrade Review to form MiningFeeds. Matt has a B.Sc. degree with a minor in geology from the University of Toronto.

By Matt Earle

Matthew Earle is the Founder of MiningFeeds. In 2005, Matt founded MiningNerds.com to provide data and information to the mining investment community. This site was merged with Highgrade Review to form MiningFeeds. Matt has a B.Sc. degree with a minor in geology from the University of Toronto.

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