FORTUNE -- Apple (AAPL) is an outlier in a major shift of stock ownership that's unfolded over the past five years, according to a note issued Wednesday by Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty.
She writes that as small investors took their money out of stocks and put it into mutual funds, institutions were picking the slack. Average institutional ownership of the S&P 500 today is 83% of shares outstanding, and it's increasing at the rate of 0.8% per year.
The trend is even more pronounced in the large cap mobile tech companies Morgan Stanley follows. Every one but Apple.
Looking at the really big money -- the top 30 shareholders who tend to hold 30-50% of shares outstanding -- Morgan Stanley found big-money ownership to be at or near record highs for several stocks: Amazon (AMZN), Google (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ).
In contrast, the big 30 shareholders currently own what Huberty describes as "a record low" 30% of Apple, compared with the 36% five-year average and a peak of 40% in 2009. (See chart.)
This is what it looks like when Apple goes ex-dividend.
FORTUNE -- Apple (AAPL) opened Thursday at $464.02. An hour and nine minutes later, it hit $457.95, having shed more than $5.5 billion in market value.
One never knows on Wall Street, but the most likely explanation is that traders who bought Apple for its $3.05-per-share dividend sold it as soon as the stock went ex-dividend, which was 9:30 a.m. Thursday MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 8, 2013 4:39 PM ET
More than most tech stocks, Netflix is an investment in the future of TV.
By Kevin Kelleher, contributor
FORTUNE – Wrapping up a conference call with analysts and investors this week, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings shared his view that the company isn't so much in the TV business as it is in the "membership happiness business." Too bad for Wall Street that he didn't mention the business of pleasing investors every quarter.
Within MOREJul 24, 2013 7:20 AM ET
CNBC exposes one of our favorite sources of news and analysis
FORTUNE -- To counteract what they perceived as stream of clueless Apple (AAPL) commentary on CNBC, three long-time participants of Investor Village's AAPL Sanity board agreed to be interviewed by Simon Hobbs Friday morning for the network's Squawk on the Street segment.
I had mixed feelings about the plan. The managers of the private, invitation-only online community have been kind enough MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 6, 2012 10:58 AM ET
One fund manager says his biggest fear is that he's missed his chance to fully buy in
FORTUNE -- The last time Apple (AAPL) closed above $633 was April 9, 2012. The next day it began into a ragged six-week decline that by May 18 (the sharp dip in the middle of the chart at right) had knocked $115 off the share price and more than $100 billion off the company's MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 17, 2012 3:51 AM ET
Investors were caught off guard by results at Amazon and Netflix. Truth is, if they'd been paying closer attention, they'd have seen it coming.
By Kevin Kelleher, contributor
FORTUNE – This fall's earnings season is starting to look like hunting season for big-name web companies. First, Netflix drops 35% in one day, Tuesday, after heavy subscriber losses and warning investors that it would lose money for a few quarters next year. Then MOREOct 26, 2011 3:17 PM ET
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