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State or government account for 51% of Swisscom AG's (VTX:SCMN) ownership, while individual investors account for 33%

To get a sense of who is truly in control of Swisscom AG (VTX:SCMN), it is important to understand the ownership structure of the business. With 51% stake, state or government possess the maximum shares in the company. In other words, the group stands to gain the most (or lose the most) from their investment into the company.

And individual investors on the other hand have a 33% ownership in the company.

Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about Swisscom.

View our latest analysis for Swisscom

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Swisscom?

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.

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Swisscom already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. 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 Swisscom, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

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

Swisscom is not owned by hedge funds. Switzerland is currently the company's largest shareholder with 51% of shares outstanding. With such a huge stake in the ownership, we infer that they have significant control of the future of the company. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 2.2% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 2.0% by the third-largest shareholder.

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 plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of Swisscom

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

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 information suggests that Swisscom AG insiders own under 1% of the company. As it is a large company, we'd only expect insiders to own a small percentage of it. But it's worth noting that they own CHF7.4m worth of shares. It is good to see board members owning shares, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.

General Public Ownership

With a 33% ownership, the general public, mostly comprising of individual investors, have some degree of sway over Swisscom. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

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. Case in point: We've spotted 1 warning sign for Swisscom 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.

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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