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Ideally, I would like to know who all of the holders are. For instance, knowing that ownership of a stock is concentrated among hedge funds over individual investors may indicate how often (and when) the stock might be traded or turned over (whether the current investors tend to hold the stock for years or whether the majority of the ownership is replaced often).

Knowing the history of who owned the stock, how much they owned and when may indicate whether the propensity of current stockholders to trade the stock frequently is a new trend for that company or not.

Is there a free internet resource to find out who owns a specific publicly traded U.S. stock, how many shares they own, as well as the ownership history of that stock?

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    Look at "Major Ownership" in the quotes as here is an example using Google's stock: finance.yahoo.com/q/mh?s=GOOG – JB King Mar 10 '14 at 20:02
  • @JBKing - That was sufficient to answer the question, no? – JTP - Apologise to Monica Mar 10 '14 at 22:14
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    Not quite. The lists that finance sites give is usually just the top shareholders and not a comprehensive list. Additionally, some of the data may be a bit old so that could be another factor to consider and lastly this doesn't really touch on history except for the data being displayed being a bit old. Who owned the stocks before is something that would likely require digging into SEC filings I'd think which would also be part of answering this question is to know which filings would be major ownership,e.g. 5% or more of the company stock. – JB King Mar 10 '14 at 22:20
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I don't think that you will be able to find a list of every owner for a given stock. There are probably very few people who would know this. One source would be whoever sends out the shareholder meeting mailers.

I suspect that the company itself would know this, the exchange to a lesser extent, and possibly the brokerage houses to a even lesser extent.

Consider these resources:

  1. Only the people/groups owning/controlling more than 5% of a stock are required to file. I bet this is what the "Major Ownership" from @JB_King is.
  2. There are cases when someone can request the full list of owners: proxy solicitations, and tender offers.
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Companies absolutely know who ALL their shareholders are.

Ownership is filed on Form 3/4 and in 10-Q/Ks. Look there. Guidelines for required disclosure are as follows:

1) Individuals must disclose when their ownership exceeds 5%;

2) Non-individual legal entities (read: companies; e.g. a hedge fund) must disclose when their ownership exceeds 10% (Form 13-F); and 3) All Officers and Directors

Notice the word "required." For example, a entity (individual/company) may file "confidentiality letter" (which allows them to delay disclosing ownership) with the SEC as they are building a position. So at any given point in time the information that is publicaly available may not be "up-to-date."

And in all cases beneficial owner(ship).

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