Despite recent sales, Levi Strauss & Co. (NYSE:LEVI) insiders still control 57% of the company

·4 min read

Key Insights

  • Levi Strauss' significant insider ownership suggests inherent interests in company's expansion

  • A total of 7 investors have a majority stake in the company with 52% ownership

  • Recent sales by insiders

To get a sense of who is truly in control of Levi Strauss & Co. (NYSE:LEVI), it is important to understand the ownership structure of the business. With 57% stake, individual insiders possess the maximum shares in the company. Put another way, the group faces the maximum upside potential (or downside risk).

Even though insiders have sold shares recently, the group owns the most numbers of shares in the company and as a result benefitted the most after market cap rose US$297m last week.

In the chart below, we zoom in on the different ownership groups of Levi Strauss.

See our latest analysis for Levi Strauss


What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Levi Strauss?

Many institutions measure their performance against an index that approximates the local market. So they usually pay more attention to companies that are included in major indices.

Levi Strauss 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. 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 Levi Strauss' earnings history below. Of course, the future is what really matters.


Levi Strauss is not owned by hedge funds. Our data shows that Miriam Haas is the largest shareholder with 11% of shares outstanding. Robert Haas is the second largest shareholder owning 9.3% of common stock, and Margaret Haas holds about 8.8% of the company stock. Additionally, the company's CEO Charles Bergh directly holds 1.2% of the total shares outstanding.

We did some more digging and found that 7 of the top shareholders account for roughly 52% 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. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of Levi Strauss

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. 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.

It seems that insiders own more than half the Levi Strauss & Co. stock. This gives them a lot of power. That means insiders have a very meaningful US$3.7b stake in this US$6.6b business. It is good to see this level of investment. You can check here to see if those insiders have been selling any of their shares.

General Public Ownership

The general public-- including retail investors -- own 15% 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:

I find it very interesting to look at who exactly owns a company. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. To that end, you should learn about the 3 warning signs we've spotted with Levi Strauss (including 1 which is significant) .

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.

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