With 76% ownership of the shares, Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE:UNP) is heavily dominated by institutional owners

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A look at Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE:UNP) shareholders can tell us which group is the strongest. The group with the most shares in the company, around 76%, are institutions. In other words, the group will gain the most (or lose the most) from their investment in the company.
Because institutional investors have access to vast amounts of capital, their market movements are often scrutinized by retail or retail investors. As such, a good chunk of institutional money invested in the company is usually a big vote of confidence in its future.
Let's dive deeper into each Union Pacific owner type, starting with the table below.
Check out our latest analysis for Union Pacific
property breakdown
What Does Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Union Pacific?
Institutional investors typically compare their own returns to the returns of a commonly tracked index. As such, they typically consider buying larger companies that are included in the relevant benchmark index.
Union Pacific already has institutions on the share register. In fact, they own a respectable stake in the company. This suggests some credibility among professional investors. But we can't rely on that alone, as institutions sometimes make bad investments, just like everyone else. When multiple institutions own a stock, there is always a risk that they will find themselves in a “crowded trade”. When such a trade goes awry, multiple parties can compete to sell shares quickly. This risk is higher in a company without a growth history. You can see Union Pacific's historical earnings and earnings below, but remember there's still more to be told.
Profit and Revenue Growth
Institutional investors own over 50% of the company, so collectively they can likely heavily influence board decisions. Hedge funds don't have many stakes in Union Pacific. Our data shows that The Vanguard Group, Inc. is the largest shareholder with 8.5% of outstanding shares. Meanwhile, the second- and third-largest shareholders hold 6.6% and 4.3% of the outstanding shares, respectively.
A closer look at our ownership data reveals that the 25 largest shareholders collectively hold less than half of the register, suggesting a large group of small shareholders with no single shareholder controlling.
While examining a company's institutional ownership can add value to your research, it's also a good practice to research analyst recommendations to gain a deeper understanding of a stock's expected performance. There are a fair number of analysts covering the stock, so it might be helpful to get their overall view on the future.
Union Pacific insider ownership
While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers a board member to be an insider. Management runs the business, but the CEO is accountable to the board even if he or she is a member.
Insider ownership is positive when it signals leadership thinks like the true owners of the company. However, a high proportion of insiders can give immense power to even a small group within the organization. This can sometimes be negative.
Our latest data shows that insiders own less than 1% of Union Pacific Corporation. It's a very large company, so it would be surprising to see insiders own a large portion of the company. Although their ownership is less than 1%, we can see that the board members collectively own $205 million worth of stock (at current prices). In such a situation, it can be more interesting to see whether those insiders have bought or sold.
General Public Property
With 24% ownership, the general public, made up mostly of individual investors, has some influence over Union Pacific. While this ownership may not be sufficient to sway a policy decision in their favor, they can still collectively influence company policy.
Next Steps:
While it's worth considering the different groups that own a business, there are other factors that are even more important. For example, take risks – Union Pacific has 1 warning sign that we think you should look out for.
But ultimately, it's the future, not the past, that will determine how well the owners of this company will do. Therefore, we think it's wise to take a look at this free report that shows whether analysts are predicting a brighter future.
Note: The figures in this article are calculated using data for the last twelve months, relating to the 12-month period ending on the last date of the month to which the financial statements are dated. This may not tally with the annual report figures for the full year.
Do you have any feedback about this article? Concerned about the content? Contact us. Alternatively, send an email to the editorial team (at) simplywallst.com.

This Simply Wall St article is of a general nature. We provide comments based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended as financial advice. It is not a recommendation to buy or sell any stock and does not take into account your goals or financial situation. Our goal is to offer you long-term focused analysis based on fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not take into account the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.
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