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With 87% institutional ownership, Sempra (NYSE:SRE) is a favorite amongst the big guns

Key Insights

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

  • The top 12 shareholders own 51% of the company

  • Analyst forecasts along with ownership data serve to give a strong idea about prospects for a business

A look at the shareholders of Sempra (NYSE:SRE) can tell us which group is most powerful. And the group that holds the biggest piece of the pie are institutions with 87% ownership. That is, the group stands to benefit the most if the stock rises (or lose the most if there is a downturn).

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

See our latest analysis for Sempra

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Sempra?

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.

We can see that Sempra does have institutional investors; and they hold a good portion of the company's stock. 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. 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 Sempra'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

Investors should note that institutions actually own more than half the company, so they can collectively wield significant power. Hedge funds don't have many shares in Sempra. The company's largest shareholder is BlackRock, Inc., with ownership of 9.5%. The Vanguard Group, Inc. is the second largest shareholder owning 9.0% of common stock, and Capital Research and Management Company holds about 7.6% of the company stock.

A closer look at our ownership figures suggests that the top 12 shareholders have a combined ownership of 51% implying that no single shareholder has a majority.

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 Sempra

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 most recent data indicates that insiders own less than 1% of Sempra. Being so large, we would not expect insiders to own a large proportion of the stock. Collectively, they own US$20m of stock. It is always good to see at least some insider ownership, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, who are usually individual investors, hold a 13% stake in Sempra. 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:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Sempra better, we need to consider many other factors. Take risks for example - Sempra has 2 warning signs (and 1 which is significant) we think you should know about.

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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