The big shareholder groups in First Foundation Inc. (NASDAQ:FFWM) have power over the company. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in 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.
First Foundation has a market capitalization of US$1.2b, so we would expect some institutional investors to have noticed the stock. 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 First Foundation.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About First Foundation?
Many institutions measure their performance against an index that approximates the local market. So they usually pay more attention to companies that are included in major indices.
We can see that First Foundation 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 First Foundation, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.
Institutional investors own over 50% of the company, so together than can probably strongly influence board decisions. Hedge funds don't have many shares in First Foundation. FMR LLC is currently the largest shareholder, with 8.9% of shares outstanding. BlackRock, Inc. is the second largest shareholder owning 6.6% of common stock, and Ulrich Keller holds about 5.0% of the company stock. Ulrich Keller, who is the third-largest shareholder, also happens to hold the title of Chairman of the Board. Additionally, the company's CEO Scott Kavanaugh directly holds 3.0% of the total shares outstanding.
After doing some more digging, we found that the top 14 have the combined ownership of 51% in the company, suggesting that no single shareholder has significant control over the company.
Researching institutional ownership is a good way to gauge and filter a stock's expected performance. The same can be achieved by studying analyst sentiments. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.
Insider Ownership Of First Foundation
While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. 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.
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 information suggests that insiders maintain a significant holding in First Foundation Inc.. It has a market capitalization of just US$1.2b, and insiders have US$147m worth of shares in their own names. That's quite significant. It is good to see this level of investment. You can check here to see if those insiders have been buying recently.
General Public Ownership
With a 18% ownership, the general public, mostly comprising of individual investors, have some degree of sway over First Foundation. 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.
I find it very interesting to look at who exactly owns a company. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Be aware that First Foundation is showing 1 warning sign in our investment analysis , you should know about...
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.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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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