Every investor in ESSA Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:ESSA) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it's not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of smaller companies. 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$161m, ESSA Bancorp 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. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about ESSA Bancorp.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About ESSA Bancorp?
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.
We can see that ESSA Bancorp does have institutional investors; and they hold a good portion of the company's stock. 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. It is not uncommon to see a big share price drop if two large institutional investors try to sell out of a stock at the same time. So it is worth checking the past earnings trajectory of ESSA Bancorp, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.
ESSA Bancorp is not owned by hedge funds. ESSA Bank & Trust is currently the company's largest shareholder with 11% of shares outstanding. With 5.6% and 5.4% of the shares outstanding respectively, BlackRock, Inc. and Dimensional Fund Advisors L.P. are the second and third largest shareholders. In addition, we found that Gary Olson, the CEO has 1.2% of the shares allocated to their name.
A closer look at our ownership figures suggests that the top 13 shareholders have a combined ownership of 50% implying that no single shareholder has a majority.
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. There is a little analyst coverage of the stock, but not much. So there is room for it to gain more coverage.
Insider Ownership Of ESSA Bancorp
The definition of company insiders can be subjective and does vary between jurisdictions. Our data reflects individual insiders, capturing board members at the very least. The company management answer to the board and the latter should represent the interests of shareholders. Notably, sometimes top-level managers are on the board themselves.
Most consider insider ownership a positive because it can indicate the board is well aligned with other shareholders. However, on some occasions too much power is concentrated within this group.
Shareholders would probably be interested to learn that insiders own shares in ESSA Bancorp, Inc.. It has a market capitalization of just US$161m, and insiders have US$14m worth of shares, in their own names. It is good to see some investment by insiders, but I usually like to see higher insider holdings. It might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.
General Public Ownership
The general public, with a 32% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. 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.
Private Company Ownership
We can see that Private Companies own 11%, of the shares on issue. Private companies may be related parties. Sometimes insiders have an interest in a public company through a holding in a private company, rather than in their own capacity as an individual. While it's hard to draw any broad stroke conclusions, it is worth noting as an area for further research.
It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand ESSA Bancorp better, we need to consider many other factors. Take risks for example - ESSA Bancorp has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.
If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its future.
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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