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I was doing some research on something totally unrelated, tax stocks, when I discovered that institutions and mutual funds own 98% of the float and 98% of the shares of Jackson Hewitt Tax Service (JTX).

I thought that was an extremely high percentage. Do individual investors own only 2% of the JTX shares?

I decided to do some further research and found some other very high percentage ownerships. For example, Qwest Communications International (Q) has 90% of the shares owned by institutions, including mutual funds, and 107% of the float owned by institutions. Alleghany Corp. (Y) has 65% of its shares and 103% of the float owned by institutions. Look at Shaw Group (SGR). Institutions own 97% of the shares and 118% of the float.

Now for the most amazing ownership percentages. Avid Technology Inc. (AVID) has 112% of the float owned by institutions and 104% of the total shares owned by institutions. How is this possible? How can institutions own over 100% of the shares? Other than a calculation error, there seems to me to be only a couple ways this could happen. If there is no double counting involved, then either some of the institutions own shares on margin and/or there are naked short sellers that are shorting shares that don't exist. I am tracking these shares on stockpickr.com to see if there is any effect of the high institutional ownership on the stock price.

If you are aware of any other very high institutional ownership stocks, please post in the comments.

Disclosure: Author does not own any of the above.

Source: Unusually High Institutional Ownership Stocks