Could The Independent Bank Corporation (NASDAQ:IBCP) Ownership Structure Tell Us Something Useful?

Every investor in Independent Bank Corporation (NASDAQ:IBCP) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. Companies that used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.

With a market capitalization of US$316m, Independent Bank is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions own shares in the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Independent Bank.

Check out our latest analysis for Independent Bank

ownership-breakdown
NasdaqGS:IBCP Ownership Breakdown September 10th 2020

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Independent Bank?

Institutions typically measure themselves against a benchmark when reporting to their own investors, so they often become more enthusiastic about a stock once it’s included in a major index. We would expect most companies to have some institutions on the register, especially if they are growing.

Independent Bank already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. This can indicate that the company has a certain degree of credibility in the investment community. However, it is best to be wary of relying on the supposed validation that comes with institutional investors. They too, get it wrong sometimes. When multiple institutions own a stock, there’s always a risk that they are in a ‘crowded trade’. When such a trade goes wrong, multiple parties may compete to sell stock fast. This risk is higher in a company without a history of growth. You can see Independent Bank’s historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
NasdaqGS:IBCP Earnings and Revenue Growth September 10th 2020

Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. Our data indicates that hedge funds own 6.4% of Independent Bank. That’s interesting, because hedge funds can be quite active and activist. Many look for medium term catalysts that will drive the share price higher. The company’s largest shareholder is BlackRock, Inc., with ownership of 9.8%. FJ Capital Management, LLC is the second largest shareholder owning 6.4% of common stock, and The Vanguard Group, Inc. holds about 5.2% of the company stock. Additionally, the company’s CEO William Kessel directly holds 0.6% of the total shares outstanding.

After doing some more digging, we found that the top 13 have the combined ownership of 51% in the company, suggesting that no single shareholder has significant control over the company.

While studying institutional ownership for a company can add value to your research, it is also a good practice to research analyst recommendations to get a deeper understand of a stock’s expected performance. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of Independent Bank

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

Insider ownership is positive when it signals leadership are thinking like the true owners of the company. However, high insider ownership can also give immense power to a small group within the company. This can be negative in some circumstances.

Shareholders would probably be interested to learn that insiders own shares in Independent Bank Corporation. In their own names, insiders own US$7.7m worth of stock in the US$316m company. Some would say this shows alignment of interests between shareholders and the board. But it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.

General Public Ownership

With a 13% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over Independent Bank. While this size of ownership may not be enough to sway a policy decision in their favour, they can still make a collective impact on company policies.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Take risks for example – Independent Bank has 2 warning signs (and 1 which shouldn’t be ignored) we think you should know about.

If you would prefer discover what analysts are predicting in terms of future growth, do not miss this free report on analyst forecasts.

NB: Figures in this article are calculated using data from the last twelve months, which refer to the 12-month period ending on the last date of the month the financial statement is dated. This may not be consistent with full year annual report figures.

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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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