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3M Company (NYSE:MMM) is favoured by institutional owners who hold 68% of the company

Key Insights

  • Significantly high institutional ownership implies 3M's stock price is sensitive to their trading actions

  • The top 25 shareholders own 44% of the company

  • Using data from analyst forecasts alongside ownership research, one can better assess the future performance of a company

A look at the shareholders of 3M Company (NYSE:MMM) can tell us which group is most powerful. With 68% stake, institutions possess the maximum shares in the company. Put another way, the group faces the maximum upside potential (or downside risk).

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. Hence, having a considerable amount of institutional money invested in a company is often regarded as a desirable trait.

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In the chart below, we zoom in on the different ownership groups of 3M.

View our latest analysis for 3M

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About 3M?

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 3M. 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 3M, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

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

Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in 3M. The Vanguard Group, Inc. is currently the largest shareholder, with 8.5% of shares outstanding. BlackRock, Inc. is the second largest shareholder owning 7.7% of common stock, and State Street Global Advisors, Inc. holds about 6.1% of the company stock.

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 3M

The definition of company insiders can be subjective and does vary between jurisdictions. Our data reflects individual insiders, capturing board members at the very least. 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 most recent data indicates that insiders own less than 1% of 3M Company. Being so large, we would not expect insiders to own a large proportion of the stock. Collectively, they own US$35m of stock. 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 32% stake in 3M. 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. Take risks for example - 3M has 2 warning signs we think you should be aware of.

If you would prefer discover what analysts are predicting in terms of future growth, do not miss this free report on analyst forecasts.

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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