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Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) is largely controlled by institutional shareholders who own 74% of the company

Key Insights

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

  • 43% of the business is held by the top 25 shareholders

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

Every investor in Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. We can see that institutions own the lion's share in the company with 74% ownership. That is, the group stands to benefit the most if the stock rises (or lose the most if there is a downturn).

Given the vast amount of money and research capacities at their disposal, institutional ownership tends to carry a lot 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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In the chart below, we zoom in on the different ownership groups of Starbucks.

View our latest analysis for Starbucks

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Starbucks?

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 Starbucks 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 Starbucks' historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

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. Starbucks is not owned by hedge funds. The Vanguard Group, Inc. is currently the largest shareholder, with 9.6% of shares outstanding. With 6.7% and 4.0% of the shares outstanding respectively, BlackRock, Inc. and State Street Global Advisors, Inc. are the second and third largest shareholders.

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 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. 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 Starbucks

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.

We can report that insiders do own shares in Starbucks Corporation. Insiders own US$1.9b worth of shares (at current prices). we sometimes take an interest in whether they have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, who are usually individual investors, hold a 24% stake in Starbucks. 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 Starbucks better, we need to consider many other factors. For example, we've discovered 2 warning signs for Starbucks (1 is a bit concerning!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

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.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team@simplywallst.com