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Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) is a favorite amongst institutional investors who own 81%

A look at the shareholders of Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) can tell us which group is most powerful. And the group that holds the biggest piece of the pie are institutions with 81% ownership. In other words, the group stands to gain the most (or lose the most) from their investment into the company.

Since institutional have access to huge amounts of capital, their market moves tend to receive a lot of scrutiny by retail or individual investors. Therefore, a good portion of institutional money invested in the company is usually a huge vote of confidence on its future.

Let's delve deeper into each type of owner of Gilead Sciences, beginning with the chart below.

View our latest analysis for Gilead Sciences

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Gilead Sciences?

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.

We can see that Gilead Sciences does have institutional investors; and they hold a good portion of the company's stock. 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 Gilead Sciences, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

Institutional investors own over 50% of the company, so together than can probably strongly influence board decisions. Hedge funds don't have many shares in Gilead Sciences. BlackRock, Inc. is currently the company's largest shareholder with 10% of shares outstanding. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 9.1% and 8.8% of the stock.

After doing some more digging, we found that the top 20 have the combined ownership of 50% in the company, suggesting that no single shareholder has significant control over the company.

While it makes sense to study institutional ownership data for a company, it also makes sense to study analyst sentiments to know which way the wind is blowing. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of Gilead Sciences

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.

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 most recent data indicates that insiders own less than 1% of Gilead Sciences, Inc.. Being so large, we would not expect insiders to own a large proportion of the stock. Collectively, they own US$38m of stock. 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 19% stake in Gilead Sciences. 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:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Gilead Sciences better, we need to consider many other factors. Take risks for example - Gilead Sciences has 3 warning signs we think you should be aware of.

If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its 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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