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Both retail investors who control a good portion of C3.ai, Inc. (NYSE:AI) along with institutions must be dismayed after last week's 13% decrease

Key Insights

  • Significant control over C3.ai by retail investors implies that the general public has more power to influence management and governance-related decisions

  • The top 25 shareholders own 42% of the company

  • 11% of C3.ai is held by insiders

A look at the shareholders of C3.ai, Inc. (NYSE:AI) can tell us which group is most powerful. And the group that holds the biggest piece of the pie are retail investors with 50% ownership. That is, the group stands to benefit the most if the stock rises (or lose the most if there is a downturn).

While the holdings of retail investors took a hit after last week’s 13% price drop, institutions with their 35% holdings also suffered.

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In the chart below, we zoom in on the different ownership groups of C3.ai.

See our latest analysis for C3.ai

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About C3.ai?

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.

C3.ai 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. 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 C3.ai's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

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

Hedge funds don't have many shares in C3.ai. With a 8.4% stake, CEO Thomas Siebel is the largest shareholder. With 8.3% and 4.2% of the shares outstanding respectively, The Vanguard Group, Inc. and BlackRock, 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. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of C3.ai

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

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.

Our most recent data indicates that insiders own a reasonable proportion of C3.ai, Inc.. It is very interesting to see that insiders have a meaningful US$310m stake in this US$2.8b business. Most would be pleased to see the board is investing alongside them. You may wish to access this free chart showing recent trading by insiders.

General Public Ownership

The general public, who are usually individual investors, hold a substantial 50% stake in C3.ai, suggesting it is a fairly popular stock. This level of ownership gives investors from the wider public some power to sway key policy decisions such as board composition, executive compensation, and the dividend payout ratio.

Private Company Ownership

We can see that Private Companies own 4.0%, of the shares on issue. Private companies may be related parties. Sometimes insiders have an interest in a public company through a holding in a private company, rather than in their own capacity as an individual. While it's hard to draw any broad stroke conclusions, it is worth noting as an area for further research.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 3 warning signs with C3.ai , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

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.