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Just curious -- I've used S&P stock reports for the past 15 years, and I've always wondered about the "number of shareholders" listed in the report. It seems really low (e.g. the S&P report for eBay says 27,770 employees and 4,951 shareholders; for Google it's 32,467 employees and 3,074 shareholders).

Do they mean thousands of shareholders? Or is this referring only to true shareholders, and not shares held in "street name" e.g. when I own stock it's really my broker who purchases it on my behalf? If the latter, what's the point in this statistic when it doesn't really indicate how many people own stock in company X?

  • S&P's strength is more in fixed-income ratings than equity (Morningside or ValueLine would be where I'd look for stock reports), but that wasn't what you asked about. I'll try to check on that #shareholders count. Are any S&P reports publicly accessible or are they behind a pay wall? – Ellie Kesselman May 31 '12 at 5:51
  • I think it's a paywall; my brokerage (Scottrade) gets me them for free. – Jason S May 31 '12 at 11:53
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Yes these are the number of shareholders that are not held in "street name" plus the different brokerages that hold the shares in "street name". So the stat is pointless since it really only lists the few people who own the stocks outside of a brokerage account and a bunch of wall street brokers.

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