In the wake of Amazon.com, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:AMZN) latest US$161b market cap drop, institutional owners may be forced to take severe actions

Every investor in Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. We can see that institutions own the lion's share in the company with 58% ownership. In other words, the group stands to gain the most (or lose the most) from their investment into the company.

And so it follows that institutional investors was the group most impacted after the company's market cap fell to US$1.1t last week after a 13% drop in the share price. Needless to say, the recent loss which further adds to the one-year loss to shareholders of 39% might not go down well especially with this category of shareholders. Institutions or "liquidity providers" control large sums of money and therefore, these types of investors usually have a lot of influence over stock price movements. As a result, if the decline continues, institutional investors may be pressured to sell Amazon.com which might hurt individual investors.

In the chart below, we zoom in on the different ownership groups of Amazon.com.

View our latest analysis for Amazon.com

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Amazon.com?

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.

Amazon.com already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. This suggests some credibility amongst professional investors. But we can't rely on that fact alone since institutions make bad investments sometimes, just like everyone does. 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 Amazon.com, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

Institutional investors own over 50% of the company, so together than can probably strongly influence board decisions. Amazon.com is not owned by hedge funds. Our data shows that Jeffrey Bezos is the largest shareholder with 9.8% of shares outstanding. With 6.8% and 5.8% of the shares outstanding respectively, The Vanguard Group, Inc. and BlackRock, Inc. are the second and third largest shareholders.

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.

While studying institutional ownership for a company can add value to your research, it is also a good practice to research analyst recommendations to get a deeper understand of a stock's expected performance. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of Amazon.com

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. Management ultimately answers to the board. However, it is not uncommon for managers to be executive board members, especially if they are a founder or the CEO.

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.

We can see that insiders own shares in Amazon.com, Inc.. It is a very large company, and board members collectively own US$103b worth of shares (at current prices). we sometimes take an interest in whether they have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

With a 31% ownership, the general public, mostly comprising of individual investors, have some degree of sway over Amazon.com. 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.

Next Steps:

I find it very interesting to look at who exactly owns a company. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. To that end, you should learn about the 2 warning signs we've spotted with Amazon.com (including 1 which is potentially serious) .

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.

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.

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