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ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) is a favorite amongst institutional investors who own 81%

Key Insights

  • Institutions' substantial holdings in ConocoPhillips implies that they have significant influence over the company's share price

  • A total of 19 investors have a majority stake in the company with 50% ownership

  • Recent sales by insiders

If you want to know who really controls ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. We can see that institutions own the lion's share in the company with 81% ownership. In other words, the group stands to gain the most (or lose the most) from their investment into the company.

Because institutional owners have a huge pool of resources and liquidity, their investing decisions tend to carry a great deal of weight, especially with individual investors. Therefore, a good portion of institutional money invested in the company is usually a huge vote of confidence on its future.

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

Check out our latest analysis for ConocoPhillips

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About ConocoPhillips?

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.

As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in ConocoPhillips. This can indicate that the company has a certain degree of credibility in the investment community. However, it is best to be wary of relying on the supposed validation that comes with institutional investors. They too, get it wrong sometimes. 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 ConocoPhillips' 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 ConocoPhillips. The Vanguard Group, Inc. is currently the company's largest shareholder with 9.3% of shares outstanding. With 7.5% and 5.3% of the shares outstanding respectively, BlackRock, Inc. and Capital Research and Management Company are the second and third largest shareholders.

Looking at the shareholder registry, we can see that 50% of the ownership is controlled by the top 19 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. 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 ConocoPhillips

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.

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 data suggests that insiders own under 1% of ConocoPhillips in their own names. 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$126m worth of shares. 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 18% stake in ConocoPhillips. 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.

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 2 warning signs with ConocoPhillips (at least 1 which is potentially serious) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

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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