Most investment research material is devoted to the characteristics of the company, rather than to the characteristics of the company’s common stock. Yet the investor needs to know about the stock: Who owns it? Who has owned it in the past? Who is likely to own it in the future?
Information about a company’s stock—such as the float, the number of shares owned by management, the number of shares owned by institutions and the number of institutions holding shares—is publicly available. Some services even provide names of the institutional holders. Analysts would be doing their clients a favor if they took advantage of this information in preparing their research reports.