Much of Twitter’s (TWTR) stock is owned by institutional investors who buy large stakes in companies for their clients. The names below shuffle places on the list from time to time, but the latest figures available (third quarter of 2021) Morgan Stanley (MS) is the top shareholder.
Twitter, which operates the global messaging platform, was founded in 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone, and Noah Glass. Twitter developer Glass had previously created a venture called Odeo, a failed pioneer in podcasting. He teamed up with the other three to build Twitter from the ashes of that venture.
- Twitter’s top five shareholders as of Q3 2021 were: Morgan Stanley, Vanguard, BlackRock, State Street Corp., and Lone Pine Capital.
- Collectively, the top five Twitter shareholders own just over 30% of the company.
- Twitter founder Jack Dorsey stepped down as CEO in 2021 (having been in that position since 2015).
Twitter was, and is, distinguished from its competitors by the extreme succinctness in messaging it enforces. Its mini-posts are currently limited to 280 characters per tweet.
Its messaging platform has about 211 million daily active users as of Sept. 30, 2021. The company generated $1.28 billion in revenue during Q3 2021—a 37% increase from the same quarter in 2020.
The company generates revenue primarily through advertising, with a second revenue stream from data licensing and other services. Co-founder Jack Dorsey served as CEO of Twitter from 2015 to 2021.
Below, we’ll look at the top five shareholders of Twitter based on the number of shares owned. Notably, Dorsey is not on this list, although he owns a 12.7% stake in mobile payments company Square Inc. (SQ), which he also founded and now leads as CEO.
1. Morgan Stanley
Multinational financial services and investment company Morgan Stanley holds the largest stake in Twitter (as of Q3 2021). Morgan Stanley acts as a wealth management company for roughly $6.2 trillion in customer assets. The firm also has capital markets, sales and trading, research, and investment banking branches. Morgan Stanley’s stake in Twitter amounts to roughly 73 million shares, representing 9.2% of outstanding shares.
2. The Vanguard Group, Inc.
Investment management company Vanguard Group holds the second-largest stake in Twitter. One of the biggest investment managers globally, Vanguard offers hundreds of mutual funds, ETFs, and retirement products. The company holds about $7.2 trillion in global assets under management (AUM) as of Jan. 31, 2021.
Vanguard’s stake in Twitter represents nearly 70 million shares. This constitutes just under 8.8% of all outstanding Twitter shares. Vanguard customers can invest in Twitter stock through the company’s Vanguard Communications Services Index Fund ETF (VOX), the Vanguard Growth Index Fund ETF (VUG), and other funds.
3. BlackRock Inc.
The third-largest shareholder of Twitter is the global investment manager BlackRock Inc. (BLK). BlackRock held $9.6 trillion AUM as of the end of 2020. It currently owns nearly 52 million shares of Twitter. This stake accounts for roughly 6.5% of all outstanding shares.
BlackRock is the issuer of the popular iShares ETF line, and customers can own Twitter through several of these funds. The company’s iShares Evolved U.S. Media and Entertainment ETF (IEME) is one fund that holds Twitter.
4. State Street Corp.
Better known as State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), this firm offers a broad array of investment management services to individual and institutional clients. State Street held $3.9 trillion AUM as of Q3 2021.
It owns about 35.5 million shares of Twitter stock with a value of about $2.2 billion. That is about 4.4% of all outstanding shares.
5. Lone Pine Capital LLC
Lone Pine Capital is a hedge fund that had roughly $30 billion invested in public equities as of Q3 2021. This firm rounds out the list of the top five shareholders of Twitter. This firm owns more than 21 million shares of Twitter, for a stake of about 2.7%.