How Many Washington Federal, Inc. (NASDAQ:WAFD) Shares Do Institutions Own?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
January 21, 2021
NasdaqGS:WAFD

Every investor in Washington Federal, Inc. (NASDAQ:WAFD) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. Companies that used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.

Washington Federal has a market capitalization of US$2.2b, so we would expect some institutional investors to have noticed the stock. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutional investors have bought into the company. Let's delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about Washington Federal.

Check out our latest analysis for Washington Federal

ownership-breakdown
NasdaqGS:WAFD Ownership Breakdown January 21st 2021

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Washington Federal?

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.

As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in Washington Federal. 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 Washington Federal's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
NasdaqGS:WAFD Earnings and Revenue Growth January 21st 2021

Investors should note that institutions actually own more than half the company, so they can collectively wield significant power. Washington Federal is not owned by hedge funds. Our data shows that BlackRock, Inc. is the largest shareholder with 12% of shares outstanding. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 9.9% and 7.9% of the stock.

On further inspection, we found that more than half the company's shares are owned by the top 10 shareholders, suggesting that the interests of the larger shareholders are balanced out to an extent by the smaller ones.

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 Washington Federal

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. Management ultimately answers to the board. However, it is not uncommon for managers to be executive board members, especially if they are a founder or the CEO.

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.

I can report that insiders do own shares in Washington Federal, Inc.. This is a big company, so it is good to see this level of alignment. Insiders own US$28m 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 holds a 14% stake in Washington Federal. 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.

Next Steps:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Washington Federal better, we need to consider many other factors. Case in point: We've spotted 2 warning signs for Washington Federal you should be aware of, and 1 of them is a bit concerning.

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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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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