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Institutional investors control 78% of Science Applications International Corporation (NYSE:SAIC) and were rewarded last week after stock increased 4.0%

Key Insights

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

  • The top 10 shareholders own 50% of the company

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

If you want to know who really controls Science Applications International Corporation (NYSE:SAIC), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. We can see that institutions own the lion's share in the company with 78% ownership. That is, the group stands to benefit the most if the stock rises (or lose the most if there is a downturn).

And last week, institutional investors ended up benefitting the most after the company hit US$5.9b in market cap. The one-year return on investment is currently 18% and last week's gain would have been more than welcomed.

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Let's delve deeper into each type of owner of Science Applications International, beginning with the chart below.

View our latest analysis for Science Applications International

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Science Applications International?

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.

Science Applications International already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. 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 Science Applications International'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. We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in Science Applications International. The company's largest shareholder is The Vanguard Group, Inc., with ownership of 9.6%. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 9.2% and 7.9% of the stock.

On further inspection, we found that more than half the company's shares are owned by the top 10 shareholders, suggesting that the interests of the larger shareholders are balanced out to an extent by the smaller ones.

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. 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 Science Applications International

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

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 data suggests that insiders own under 1% of Science Applications International Corporation in their own names. Keep in mind that it's a big company, and the insiders own US$58m worth of shares. The absolute value might be more important than the proportional share. It is good to see board members owning shares, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.

General Public Ownership

The general public-- including retail investors -- own 21% stake in the company, and hence can't easily be ignored. 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.

Next Steps:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Science Applications International better, we need to consider many other factors. To that end, you should be aware of the 1 warning sign we've spotted with Science Applications International .

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.

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