A look at the shareholders of Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation (NASDAQ:BGFV) can tell us which group is most powerful. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. I generally like to see some degree of insider ownership, even if only a little. As Nassim Nicholas Taleb said, ‘Don’t tell me what you think, tell me what you have in your portfolio.
With a market capitalization of US$81m, Big 5 Sporting Goods is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. In the chart below, we can see that institutions own shares in the company. Let’s delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about Big 5 Sporting Goods.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Big 5 Sporting Goods?
Institutional investors commonly compare their own returns to the returns of a commonly followed index. So they generally do consider buying larger companies that are included in the relevant benchmark index.
Big 5 Sporting Goods already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own 45% of the company. This suggests some credibility amongst professional investors. But we can’t rely on that fact alone, since institutions make bad investments sometimes, just like everyone does. 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 Big 5 Sporting Goods’s historic earnings and revenue, below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.
We note that hedge funds don’t have a meaningful investment in Big 5 Sporting Goods. The company’s largest shareholder is Dimensional Fund Advisors L.P., with ownership of 7.2%, Next, we have Charles Schwab Investment Management, Inc. and Firefly Value Partners, LP as the second and third largest shareholders, holding 5.1% and 4.6%, of the shares outstanding, respectively.
On studying our ownership data, we found that 25 of the top shareholders collectively own less than 50% of the share register, implying that no single individual has a majority interest.
While it makes sense to study institutional ownership data for a company, it also makes sense to study analyst sentiments to know which way the wind is blowing. We’re not picking up on any analyst coverage of the stock at the moment, so the company is unlikely to be widely held.
Insider Ownership Of Big 5 Sporting Goods
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.
Our most recent data indicates that insiders own some shares in Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation. In their own names, insiders own US$4.7m worth of stock in the US$81m company. Some would say this shows alignment of interests between shareholders and the board, though I generally prefer to see bigger insider holdings. But it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.
General Public Ownership
The general public, with a 47% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. This size of ownership, while considerable, may not be enough to change company policy if the decision is not in sync with other large shareholders.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. For instance, we’ve identified 4 warning signs for Big 5 Sporting Goods (1 is a bit unpleasant) that you should be aware of.
Of course this may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free free list of interesting companies.
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.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.
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