Every investor in Northwest Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:NWBI) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. We also tend to see lower insider ownership in companies that were previously publicly owned.
Northwest Bancshares isn't enormous, but it's not particularly small either. It has a market capitalization of US$1.7b, which means it would generally expect to see some institutions on the share registry. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it seems that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Northwest Bancshares.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Northwest Bancshares?
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.
As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in Northwest Bancshares. This implies the analysts working for those institutions have looked at the stock and they like it. But just like anyone else, they could be wrong. 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 Northwest Bancshares' historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.
Institutional investors own over 50% of the company, so together than can probably strongly influence board decisions. Northwest Bancshares is not owned by hedge funds. Our data shows that BlackRock, Inc. is the largest shareholder with 15% of shares outstanding. Meanwhile, the second and third largest shareholders, hold 11% and 6.1%, of the shares outstanding, respectively.
A closer look at our ownership figures suggests that the top 11 shareholders have a combined ownership of 51% 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. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.
Insider Ownership Of Northwest Bancshares
While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. 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.
We can report that insiders do own shares in Northwest Bancshares, Inc.. This is a big company, so it is good to see this level of alignment. Insiders own US$20m worth of shares (at current prices). Most would say this shows alignment of interests between shareholders and the board. Still, it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.
General Public Ownership
The general public-- including retail investors -- own 33% stake in the company, and hence can't 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.
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. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 2 warning signs with Northwest Bancshares (at least 1 which doesn't sit too well with us) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
If you would prefer discover what analysts are predicting in terms of future growth, do not miss this free report on analyst forecasts.
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.