With 58% institutional ownership, Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY) is a favorite amongst the big guns

To get a sense of who is truly in control of Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY), it is important to understand the ownership structure of the business. With 58% stake, institutions 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.

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. Therefore, a good portion of institutional money invested in the company is usually a huge vote of confidence on its future.

In the chart below, we zoom in on the different ownership groups of Occidental Petroleum.

Check out our latest analysis for Occidental Petroleum

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Occidental Petroleum?

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 Occidental Petroleum. 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 Occidental Petroleum's earnings history below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

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

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 Occidental Petroleum. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is currently the company's largest shareholder with 21% of shares outstanding. With 10% and 6.8% of the shares outstanding respectively, Dodge & Cox and The Vanguard Group, Inc. are the second and third largest shareholders.

We also observed that the top 6 shareholders account for more than half of the share register, with a few smaller shareholders to balance the interests of the larger ones to a certain extent.

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 Occidental Petroleum

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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 Occidental Petroleum Corporation. Being so large, we would not expect insiders to own a large proportion of the stock. Collectively, they own US$136m of stock. Arguably recent buying and selling is just as important to consider. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public-- including retail investors -- own 20% 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.

Public Company Ownership

Public companies currently own 21% of Occidental Petroleum stock. We can't be certain but it is quite possible this is a strategic stake. The businesses may be similar, or work together.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Case in point: We've spotted 2 warning signs for Occidental Petroleum you should be aware of, and 1 of them doesn't sit too well with us.

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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