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AbbVie Inc.'s (NYSE:ABBV) institutional investors lost 6.2% last week but have benefitted from longer-term gains

If you want to know who really controls AbbVie Inc. (NYSE:ABBV), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. The group holding the most number of shares in the company, around 70% to be precise, is institutions. That is, the group stands to benefit the most if the stock rises (or lose the most if there is a downturn).

No shareholder likes losing money on their investments, especially institutional investors who saw their holdings drop 6.2% in value last week. However, the 28% one-year return to shareholders may have helped lessen their pain. They should, however, be mindful of further losses in the future.

Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about AbbVie.

Check out our latest analysis for AbbVie

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About AbbVie?

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 AbbVie. 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. If multiple institutions change their view on a stock at the same time, you could see the share price drop fast. It's therefore worth looking at AbbVie's earnings history below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

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. We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in AbbVie. Our data shows that The Vanguard Group, Inc. is the largest shareholder with 8.7% of shares outstanding. With 7.6% and 4.4% of the shares outstanding respectively, BlackRock, Inc. and State Street Global Advisors, Inc. are the second and third largest shareholders.

A deeper look at our ownership data shows that the top 25 shareholders collectively hold less than half of the register, suggesting a large group of small holders where no single shareholder has a majority.

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 a reasonable number of analysts covering the stock, so it might be useful to find out their aggregate view on the future.

Insider Ownership Of AbbVie

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 most recent data indicates that insiders own less than 1% of AbbVie Inc.. 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$163m worth of shares. 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 30% ownership, the general public, mostly comprising of individual investors, have some degree of sway over AbbVie. 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:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand AbbVie better, we need to consider many other factors. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for AbbVie you should know about.

But ultimately it is the future, not the past, that will determine how well the owners of this business will do. Therefore we think it advisable to take a look at this free report showing whether analysts are predicting a brighter 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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