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Following a 5.8% decline over last year, recent gains may please JD.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:JD) institutional owners

If you want to know who really controls JD.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:JD), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. The group holding the most number of shares in the company, around 38% to be precise, is institutions. In other words, the group stands to gain the most (or lose the most) from their investment into the company.

After a year of 5.8% losses, last week’s 5.5% gain would be welcomed by institutional investors as a likely sign that returns might start trending higher.

In the chart below, we zoom in on the different ownership groups of JD.com.

Check out our latest analysis for JD.com

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About JD.com?

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 JD.com. This implies the analysts working for those institutions have looked at the stock and they like it. But just like anyone else, they could be wrong. 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 JD.com'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

JD.com is not owned by hedge funds. Because actions speak louder than words, we consider it a good sign when insiders own a significant stake in a company. In JD.com's case, its Top Key Executive, Qiangdong Liu, is the largest shareholder, holding 13% of shares outstanding. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 9.2% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 2.9% by the third-largest shareholder.

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 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 JD.com

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.

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 information suggests that insiders maintain a significant holding in JD.com, Inc.. Insiders own US$13b worth of shares in the US$100b company. That's quite meaningful. Most would say this shows a good degree of alignment with shareholders, especially in a company of this size. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

With a 37% ownership, the general public, mostly comprising of individual investors, have some degree of sway over JD.com. 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.

Public Company Ownership

Public companies currently own 12% of JD.com stock. This may be a strategic interest and the two companies may have related business interests. It could be that they have de-merged. This holding is probably worth investigating further.

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. For instance, we've identified 3 warning signs for JD.com that you should be aware of.

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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