Every investor in Arista Networks, Inc. (NYSE:ANET) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. And the group that holds the biggest piece of the pie are institutions with 71% 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. Hence, having a considerable amount of institutional money invested in a company is often regarded as a desirable trait.
In the chart below, we zoom in on the different ownership groups of Arista Networks.
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 Arista Networks. 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. It is not uncommon to see a big share price drop if two large institutional investors try to sell out of a stock at the same time. So it is worth checking the past earnings trajectory of Arista Networks, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.
Investors should note that institutions actually own more than half the company, so they can collectively wield significant power. Hedge funds don't have many shares in Arista Networks. From our data, we infer that the largest shareholder is Andreas Bechtolsheim (who also holds the title of Top Key Executive) with 15% of shares outstanding. Its usually considered a good sign when insiders own a significant number of shares in the company, and in this case, we're glad to see a company insider play the role of a key stakeholder. The Vanguard Group, Inc. is the second largest shareholder owning 8.9% of common stock, and BlackRock, Inc. holds about 5.7% of the company stock. Additionally, the company's CEO Jayshree Ullal directly holds 3.3% of the total shares outstanding.
We did some more digging and found that 10 of the top shareholders account for roughly 51% of the register, implying that along with larger shareholders, there are a few smaller shareholders, thereby balancing out each others interests somewhat.
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.
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.
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 most recent data indicates that insiders own a reasonable proportion of Arista Networks, Inc.. It has a market capitalization of just US$64b, and insiders have US$12b worth of shares in their own names. That's quite significant. Most would be pleased to see the board is investing alongside them. You may wish to access this free chart showing recent trading by insiders.
The general public-- including retail investors -- own 11% 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.
It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Arista Networks better, we need to consider many other factors. Take risks for example - Arista Networks has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.
Ultimately the future is most important. You can access this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.
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.