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Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE:VLO) is largely controlled by institutional shareholders who own 80% of the company

Key Insights

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

  • The top 25 shareholders own 50% 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 Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE:VLO) can tell us which group is most powerful. We can see that institutions own the lion's share in the company with 80% 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. As a result, a sizeable amount of institutional money invested in a firm is generally viewed as a positive attribute.

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

See our latest analysis for Valero Energy

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Valero Energy?

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.

As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in Valero Energy. 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 Valero Energy'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

Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. Hedge funds don't have many shares in Valero Energy. The Vanguard Group, Inc. is currently the largest shareholder, with 9.7% of shares outstanding. With 8.3% and 6.9% of the shares outstanding respectively, BlackRock, Inc. and State Street Global Advisors, Inc. are the second and third largest shareholders.

Looking at the shareholder registry, we can see that 50% of the ownership is controlled by the top 25 shareholders, meaning that no single shareholder has a majority interest in the ownership.

Researching institutional ownership is a good way to gauge and filter a stock's expected performance. The same can be achieved by studying analyst sentiments. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of Valero Energy

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. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

I generally consider insider ownership to be a good thing. However, on some occasions it makes it more difficult for other shareholders to hold the board accountable for decisions.

Our data suggests that insiders own under 1% of Valero Energy Corporation 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$242m worth of shares (at current prices). In this sort of situation, it can be more interesting to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, who are usually individual investors, hold a 20% stake in Valero Energy. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 1 warning sign with Valero Energy , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

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.

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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.