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Only money.stackexchange can clarify this for me.

I'm trying to do due diligence on GoPro (GPRO). From what I can figure out, it has a total float of 123 million shares, of which only 18 million are currently trading and the rest are locked up.

I was trying to figure out the ownership structure of the locked up shares. In the process I came across some astounding inconsistencies on the institutional ownership of GPRO as reported in the media.

Here is a list of websites. Every single one reports a completely different institutional ownership structure. What is more, none of them seems to clearly state that out of 123 million shares, 105 million of them are locked up, and will suddenly become tradeable in December. It's just flabbergasting to me that such info is inconsistent and seemingly concealed. Can anyone clarify for me what is going on with the inconsistencies? Much appreciated.

http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/gpro/ownership-summary

https://finance.yahoo.com/q/mh?s=GPRO+Major+Holders

http://investors.morningstar.com/ownership/shareholders-overview.html?t=GPRO&region=usa&culture=en-US&ownerCountry=USA

https://www.google.com/finance?cid=531834042473910

https://eresearch.fidelity.com/eresearch/evaluate/fundamentals/ownership.jhtml?stockspage=ownership&symbols=GPRO

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  • Why does it matter?
    – littleadv
    Nov 2, 2014 at 2:20
  • Why are you assuming that the shares will "flood the market in December"? Either that's insider info, or whoever's giving you the info is setting you up for a fall, or you're setting others up for a fall...
    – keshlam
    Nov 2, 2014 at 3:08
  • @keshlam I changed the phrase to "become tradeable" Nov 2, 2014 at 3:25
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    @keshlam GoPro went IPO recently, and many stockholders (owners/employees) are prohibited from trading until certain time passes after IPO. That's what he meant by "become tradeable".
    – littleadv
    Nov 2, 2014 at 3:43
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    Ah. So... I think I second your question; why would this matter? Unless you expect the current owners of the stock to dump it en masse, more being available doesn't change the value of any single share very much; each share still represents the same percentage ownership of the company.
    – keshlam
    Nov 2, 2014 at 3:49

1 Answer 1

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The reason for such differences is that there's no source to get this information. The companies do not (and cannot) report who are their shareholders except for large shareholders and stakes of interest. These, in the case of GoPro, were identified during the IPO (you can look the filings up on EDGAR).

You can get information from this or that publicly traded mutual fund about their larger holdings from their reports, but private investors don't provide even that. Institutional (public) investors buy and sell shares all the time and only report large investments. So there's no reliable way to get a snapshot picture you're looking for.

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  • So you're saying that these trusted providers of information are happy to knowingly provide inaccurate and inconsistent information? Nov 2, 2014 at 4:08
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    I wouldn't call either Yahoo or Google "trusted providers of information". And yes, often the information available is limited and evolving over time, and different researchers may reach different conclusions -- which is precisely why multiple providers exist. Up to you to decide who you trust, if anyone.
    – keshlam
    Nov 2, 2014 at 4:21
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    @user1883050 they're not providing information, they're aggregating. See the dates? That's the dates of reports of various funds. They may not cover all the funds, and information now may not match what was reported on these dates.
    – littleadv
    Nov 2, 2014 at 4:22
  • I'd also add a bit of wisdom from my father, which I've quoted before. He ran advertising for one of the major stock information services of the time for many years, and he pointed out to me that he was always careful to bill it as "the information you want!" -- because by definition the buyers wanted it -- without ever claiming that it would actually do them any good whatsoever. Of course in those days there was a more obvious reporting/printing delay, but even now (more so now!) the short-term performance of a stock is often pretty irrational.
    – keshlam
    Nov 2, 2014 at 13:40

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