If you want to know who really controls Adobe Inc. (NASDAQ:ADBE), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. Companies that used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.
Adobe is a pretty big company. It has a market capitalization of US$192b. Normally institutions would own a significant portion of a company this size. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions own shares in the company. Let's delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about Adobe.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Adobe?
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.
Adobe 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 Adobe's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.
Investors should note that institutions actually own more than half the company, so they can collectively wield significant power. Adobe is not owned by hedge funds. Our data shows that The Vanguard Group, Inc. is the largest shareholder with 8.2% of shares outstanding. Meanwhile, the second and third largest shareholders, hold 7.9% and 4.1%, of the shares outstanding, respectively.
On studying our ownership data, we found that 25 of the top shareholders collectively own less than 50% of the share register, implying that no single individual has a majority interest.
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 Adobe
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.
Insider ownership is positive when it signals leadership are thinking like the true owners of the company. However, high insider ownership can also give immense power to a small group within the company. This can be negative in some circumstances.
Our data suggests that insiders own under 1% of Adobe Inc. in their own names. It is a very large company, so it would be surprising to see insiders own a large proportion of the company. Though their holding amounts to less than 1%, we can see that board members collectively own US$504m worth of shares (at current prices). 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 15% ownership, the general public, mostly comprising of individual investors, have some degree of sway over Adobe. 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.
It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Adobe better, we need to consider many other factors. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 2 warning signs with Adobe , 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.
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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.