In this part of our series, we’ll discuss the institutional ownership in the top utility stocks during the fourth quarter. According to a recent 13F filing, The Vanguard Group was the biggest institutional investor in American Electric Power (AEP) at the end of Q4. It held almost 8% or 39.4 million shares of AEP. Institutions held approximately 76% of AEP as of December 31.
What this could mean
Higher institutional holdings in a stock imply a higher confidence level or sentiment than sophisticated market participants have. Usually, keeping everything else equal, rising institutional holding indicates a favorable opinion about a stock.
Institutions held almost 99% of Sempra Energy’s (SRE) total outstanding shares as of December 31. T. Rowe Price was the top institutional investor in Sempra, the biggest utility by market cap in California. It added ~1.8 million shares of the utility and held approximately 10% of its total outstanding shares.
Most of the top institutional investors raised their stakes in Sempra Energy in the fourth quarter. Activist shareholder Elliott Management maintained its holding of 4.1% in Sempra Energy in the fourth quarter.
According to 13F filings, the Vanguard Group holds the largest position with 8.2% of Exelon’s (EXC) total outstanding shares as of December 31. Institutional investors held 82% of Exelon at the end of Q4. Fidelity Management & Research sold net ~2.5 million shares of Exelon and held 3.7% of its total outstanding shares at the end of the fourth quarter.
See how institutions played the top utility stocks in Q4 in Top Utility Stocks: Institutional Activity in Q4.