10 Largest Apple Shareholders: Who Owns the Most AAPL Stock in 2024?

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For owners of Apple Inc., a technology and consumer electronic giant, the first quarter of 2024 gave fewer reasons to be jolly. The AAPL share price has dropped over 8% year-to-date (YTD) as of April 2, 2024.

However, that might be a temporary meltdown. The Cupertino, California-based firm has an incredibly strong brand that sells itself and stellar financial performance, which has secured the firm with a $2.62 trillion market capitalization, keeping it the world’s second most valuable corporation after Microsoft (MSFT).

Apple (AAPL) Stock Performance YTD.
Apple (AAPL) Stock Performance YTD. Source: TradingView

In the final quarter of the 2023 financial statement that ended September 30, Apple reported an all-time revenue record in services at $22.3 billion despite a drop in product sales, such as Mac computers, iPads, and wearables.

For its fiscal 2024 first quarter ended December 30, 2023, Apple reported another batch of positive results with quarterly revenue of $119.6 billion, up 2% year over year, and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $2.18, up 16% year over year.

Tim Cook, CEO and one of Apple’s biggest shareholders, commented on the company’s latest quarterly results on February 1, 2024:

“Today Apple is reporting revenue growth for the December quarter fueled by iPhone sales, and an all-time revenue record in Services. We are pleased to announce that our installed base of active devices has now surpassed 2.2 billion, reaching an all-time high across all products and geographic segments.”

The services business covers Cloud Services and digital content such as books, music, and videos.

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In this article, we closely examine Apple’s major stakeholders and how many AAPL shares they own. We explore Apple’s ownership structure and find out who owns the most Apple stock.

Key Takeaways

  • Institutional investors account for roughly 60% of Apple’s total outstanding stock.
  • Insider investors, including Chair of the Board Art Levinson and CEO Tim Cook, control less than 1% of the company.
  • Three of Apple’s biggest shareholders are Vanguard, Blackrock, and Berkshire Hathaway.
  • Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway didn’t buy Apple stock until late 2016.
  • Among its consumer electronic peers, Apple has the second-highest percentage of institutional investors, trailing Sonos.

Who Owns the Most Shares of Apple in 2024?

Apple has become one of the world’s most valuable companies based on market capitalization, drawing a diverse range of individual and institutional investors.

According to its 2023 Annual Report:

  • Apple had 23,763 shareholders of record as of October 20.
  • The company had 15,552,752,000 shares of common stock outstanding.

Historical Apple stock performance highlights the story of the company’s success.

Apple (AAPL) Historical Price Chart
Source: Yahoo Finance

As of April 2, 2024, Apple (AAPL) stock appreciated by 111,509.25%, according to split-adjusted data from Yahoo Finance.

Note that past performance is not indicative of future results.

Top 5 Largest Institutional Shareholders

Top 5 Largest Institutional Shareholders

1. Vanguard Group – 1,317,966,471 – 8.47%

Vanguard Group, the world’s second-largest asset manager, is Apple’s largest shareholder among institutional investors.

According to Vanguard Group’s latest SEC filing on February 13, 2024, the company disclosed the ownership of 1,317,966,471 shares of Apple as of  December 31, 2023. This represents 8.47% ownership of the company.

Apple is Vanguard’s top holding, comprising 5.5% of its entire investment portfolio as of Q4 2023.

Vanguard’s shareholder structure is unique, being owned by the investors in its funds rather than by public shareholders. As of February 2024, Vanguard offered 423 funds worldwide, according to the company’s website.

In April 2023, Vanguard had $8.3 trillion in assets under management (AUM).

2. Blackrock – 1,043,713,019 – 6.7%

Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager, ranks as the second-largest shareholder of Apple.

On February 12, 2024, BlackRock Inc. filed an SC 13G/A form with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) disclosing ownership of 1,043,713,019 shares of Apple. This represents 6.7% ownership of the company.

Over the past decade, Blackrock, based in New York City, has significantly increased its investment in the tech giant. In Q4 2013, Apple wasn’t even among Blackrock’s top 10 holdings, with just 2.3 million shares valued at $1.29 million. At that time, Bank of America (BAC) was Blackrock’s largest holding.

However, by the fourth quarter of 2023, Apple ownership has become Blackrock’s second-largest investment, making up 5.1% of its total portfolio.

3. Berkshire Hathaway – 905,560,000 – 5.8%

Apple has become a favored investment for Warren Buffet, who is renowned for his strategic financial moves.

Since Berkshire Hathaway first acquired a stake in Apple in Q1 2016 with 9.81 million shares, it has significantly increased its holdings.

As of Q4 2023, Berkshire Hathaway owns 905.56 million Apple shares, which makes it the top company’s investment. This stake makes Berkshire Hathaway the third Apple largest shareholder, accounting for 5.8% of the company’s outstanding stock.

Remarkably, the tech giant now constitutes half of Berkshire Hathaway’s total investment portfolio in terms of value.

4. State Street Corporation – 586,052,057 – 3.76%

State Street Corporation, based in Massachusetts, is the fourth-largest shareholder of Apple, owning 586.05 million shares, as of Q4 2023.

Valued at $112,832,602 billion based on the December 31 closing price, this stake represents 3.76% of Apple’s outstanding stock.

State Street is the parent entity of State Street Global Advisor, ranked as the world’s fourth-largest asset manager.

5. Geode Capital Management – 300,822,623 – 1.93%

Geode Capital Management is Apple’s fifth-largest shareholder, owning 300.82 million AAPL shares as of December 31, 2023. This accounts for 1.93% ownership of Apple’s outstanding stock.

This makes Apple stock Geode’s second-largest investment, following Microsoft (MSFT) in terms of value.

Top 5 Largest Individual Shareholders

Despite several executives being major Apple shareholders, their collective holdings in AAPL stock are less than 1% of the total outstanding stock. As of January 2023, 13 Apple executives and directors together owned only 0.6% of the company’s stock.

Top 5 Apple Largest Individual Investors

Let’s look into who the stakeholders of Apple are today and define the top five biggest individual Apple owners.

1. Arthur D. Levinson – 4,434,576 – 0.029%

Contrary to common belief, Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, is not the company’s largest individual shareholder.

Arthur Levinson is Apple’s largest individual shareholder, owning 4.43 million shares as of February 2024. His stake accounts for only 0.028% of Apple’s total outstanding stock.

Levinson chairs Apple’s board and is also the co-founder and CEO of Calico, an Alphabet Inc. subsidiary. He previously served as a director at Google and as CEO of Genentech.

2. Tim Cook – 3,280,053 – 0.021%

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, is the company’s second-largest individual shareholder, with 3.28 million shares as of October 2023, representing 0.021% of the total stock.

Cook, who became CEO in August 2011, shortly before Steve Jobs’ death, was Jobs’ recommended successor. He had been acting CEO since January 2011, during Jobs’ illness.

Before becoming CEO, Cook was Apple’s Chief Operating Officer, managing global sales and operations.

3. Jeffrey Williams – 489,817 – 0.003%

Jeff Williams, who joined Apple in 1998, is the company’s Chief Operating Officer. He oversees global operations, customer service, and support.

As of October 6, 2023, Williams owns 489,817 Apple shares.

4. Albert A. Gore Jr. – 468,995 – 0.003%

Al Gore, the former Vice President of the United States, is a noted shareholder of Apple, owning 468,995 shares as of February 5, 2024.

He joined Apple’s Board of Directors on March 19, 2003, and serves on Apple’s People and Compensation Committee and the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee.

5. Katherine L. Adams – 293,266 – 0.001%

Katherine Adams, Apple’s general counsel and senior vice president of Legal and Global Security, closes the list of the top five Apple largest individual investors with 293,266 AAPL shares in ownership as of November 2023.

Kate joined Apple in 2017 and is currently a member of the company’s executive team and oversees all legal matters, including corporate governance, intellectual property, litigation and securities compliance, global security, and privacy.

Learn More About Apple’s Ownership

Apple’s ownership structure has undergone significant changes in the 37 years since its inception.

Who Funded Apple in Its Early Days?

Mike Markkula’s contribution to Apple’s early success is often overshadowed by the more famous names of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Yet, without this American businessman’s involvement, Apple’s iconic computer might never have launched.

In 1977, Markkula, a former Intel employee who had become a millionaire, invested $250,000 in Apple, acquiring a 30% stake in the company. His role extended beyond financial support; he played a crucial part in managing Apple during its formative years. This included developing a business plan and recruiting the first CEO for Apple.

Markkula’s tenure at Apple lasted until 1997, during which he witnessed Steve Jobs’ departure in 1985 and his notable return in 1997.

The Role of Institutional Investors

Apple’s initial institutional shareholders are not clearly documented, but by delving into the company’s proxy filings from 1994, we can gain some insight. As of November 30, 1994, the only institutional shareholder listed was the Capital Group.

This company, known as one of the oldest and largest investment management organizations globally, held a significant stake in Apple at that time. Their holdings amounted to 11.84 million shares, which constituted 9.8% of Apple’s total outstanding stock.

By 2010, Blackrock and Fidelity Investment had become key Apple shareholders, with Blackrock holding 5.50% (50.65 million shares) and Fidelity 5.04% (46.41 million shares) of the total stock. However, by late 2015, Vanguard Group emerged as Apple’s largest shareholder, owning nearly 6% of the company with 332.24 million shares.

Berkshire Hathaway became one of Apple’s biggest shareholders in 2020, a significant endorsement given Warren Buffett’s reputation for shrewd investments and his traditional avoidance of technology stocks.

This shift coincided with Tim Cook’s impactful leadership at Apple, which saw the company’s market capitalization soar from $358 billion in August 2011 to $1 trillion in 2018, and then to an unprecedented $3 trillion by 2022.

Buffett’s investment in Apple, beginning in 2016, highlighted the company’s profitability and aligns with his investment criteria: a strong brand, low debt, and solid management.

In May 2023, during Berkshire Hathaway’s Annual Shareholders Meeting, Buffett even praised Apple as a “better business than ours,” reflecting his confidence in Apple’s investment value.

Buffett noted that Berkshire Hathaway was “very, very, very happy to have 5.6 (%) or whatever it may be percent of Apple.”

Apple’s Ownership Structure

When retail investors consider buying company stock, they often take into account the proportion of institutional shareholders, like pension funds and insurance companies, who tend to make more cautious investment decisions.

For Apple, nearly 60% of its stock is held by institutional investors, while insiders own less than 1% as of April 2024.

This contrasts with other companies: Sonos leads in institutional ownership with 87.22%, Vizio has 40.01% institutional ownership with a majority held by retail investors, and Sony is predominantly owned by public companies and individual investors (92,49%), with only 7.51% held by institutions.

The Bottom Line

Understanding a company’s ownership structure and identifying its primary shareholders are crucial for retail investors to assess its growth potential.

This knowledge not only helps in evaluating the company’s future prospects but also in determining whether its management is capable of guiding it in the right direction.

For a company like Apple, having a substantial proportion of reputable institutional shareholders has been instrumental in maintaining its growth trajectory.

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References

  1. Largest Companies by Market Cap (Companiesmarketcap)
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  4. Annual Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(D) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (D18rn0p25nwr6d.cloudfront)
  5. Securities and Exchange Commission Washington, d.c. 20549 (D18rn0p25nwr6d.cloudfront)
  6. Vanguard Group Inc (13f)
  7. Vanguard at a glance (Corporate.vanguard)
  8. Securities and Exchange Commission (D18rn0p25nwr6d.cloudfront)
  9. BlackRock Inc. (13f)
  10. BlackRock Inc. Q4 2023 13F Top Portfolio Holdings (13f)
  11. Berkshire Hathaway Inc Q4 2023 13F Top Portfolio Holdings (13f)
  12. State Street Corp Q4 2023 13F Top Portfolio Holdings (13f)
  13. Geode Capital Management, LLC Q4 2023 13F Top Portfolio Holdings (13f)
  14. Schedule 14A Proxy Statement Pursuant to Section 14(A) (D18rn0p25nwr6d.cloudfront)
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  24. VIZIO Holding Corp. Class A Common Stock (VZIO) (Nasdaq)
  25. Sony Group (SONY) Ownership – Who Owns Sony Group? (Tipranks)
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Fitri Wulandari
Financial Journalist
Fitri Wulandari
Financial Journalist

Fitri has over 20 years of experience in financial journalism. She has contributed to various international media outlets, including Dow Jones Newswires, Bloomberg, and Reuters, before joining Techopedia. She spent the first 15 years of her career covering commodity and energy news, later transitioning to general financial writing. These days, she conducts interviews with industry players and analysts and reports on international conferences. Fitri holds a degree in International Relations, supporting her expertise in financial journalism. She occasionally serves as a guest trainer for journalistic training and as a moderator for panel discussions.