To get a sense of who is truly in control of Universal Display Corporation (NASDAQ:OLED), it is important to understand the ownership structure of the business. We can see that institutions own the lion's share in the company with 77% ownership. Put another way, the group faces the maximum upside potential (or downside risk).
Last week's US$326m market cap gain would probably be appreciated by institutional investors, especially after a year of 26% losses.
In the chart below, we zoom in on the different ownership groups of Universal Display.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Universal Display?
Institutional investors commonly compare their own returns to the returns of a commonly followed index. So they generally do consider buying larger companies that are included in the relevant benchmark index.
As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in Universal Display. This can indicate that the company has a certain degree of credibility in the investment community. However, it is best to be wary of relying on the supposed validation that comes with institutional investors. They too, get it wrong sometimes. 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 Universal Display's earnings history below. Of course, the future is what really matters.
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 Universal Display. The company's largest shareholder is The Vanguard Group, Inc., with ownership of 8.7%. BlackRock, Inc. is the second largest shareholder owning 8.2% of common stock, and Sherwin Seligsohn holds about 5.7% of the company stock. Sherwin Seligsohn, who is the third-largest shareholder, also happens to hold the title of Chairman of the Board.
Looking at the shareholder registry, we can see that 50% of the ownership is controlled by the top 19 shareholders, meaning that no single shareholder has a majority interest in the ownership.
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 Universal Display
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.
We can report that insiders do own shares in Universal Display Corporation. The insiders have a meaningful stake worth US$410m. Most would see this as a real positive. It is good to see this level of investment by insiders. You can check here to see if those insiders have been buying recently.
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.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for Universal Display you should know about.
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.
Join A Paid User Research Session
You’ll receive a US$30 Amazon Gift card for 1 hour of your time while helping us build better investing tools for the individual investors like yourself. Sign up here