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Great week for Prudential plc (LON:PRU) institutional investors after losing 36% over the previous year

Key Insights

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

  • 50% of the business is held by the top 22 shareholders

  • Insiders have been buying lately

A look at the shareholders of Prudential plc (LON:PRU) can tell us which group is most powerful. With 82% stake, institutions possess the maximum shares in the company. That is, the group stands to benefit the most if the stock rises (or lose the most if there is a downturn).

Institutional investors would probably welcome last week's 8.9% increase in the share price after a year of 36% losses as a sign that returns may to begin trending higher.

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

Check out our latest analysis for Prudential

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Prudential?

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.

Prudential already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. 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. If multiple institutions change their view on a stock at the same time, you could see the share price drop fast. It's therefore worth looking at Prudential's earnings history below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

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. We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in Prudential. Our data shows that BlackRock, Inc. is the largest shareholder with 10% of shares outstanding. Meanwhile, the second and third largest shareholders, hold 4.2% and 3.1%, of the shares outstanding, respectively.

After doing some more digging, we found that the top 22 have the combined ownership of 50% in the company, suggesting that no single shareholder has significant control over the company.

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 Prudential

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.

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 Prudential plc insiders own under 1% of the company. But they may have an indirect interest through a corporate structure that we haven't picked up on. As it is a large company, we'd only expect insiders to own a small percentage of it. But it's worth noting that they own UK£21m worth of shares. 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-- including retail investors -- own 16% stake in the company, and hence can't easily be ignored. 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:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. For example, we've discovered 1 warning sign for Prudential 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.