Here's What MSA Safety Incorporated's (NYSE:MSA) Shareholder Ownership Structure Looks Like

By
Simply Wall St
Published
December 18, 2021
NYSE:MSA
Source: Shutterstock

If you want to know who really controls MSA Safety Incorporated (NYSE:MSA), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. Warren Buffett said that he likes "a business with enduring competitive advantages that is run by able and owner-oriented people." So it's nice to see some insider ownership, because it may suggest that management is owner-oriented.

With a market capitalization of US$5.6b, MSA Safety is rather large. We'd expect to see institutional investors on the register. Companies of this size are usually well known to retail investors, too. In the chart below, we can see that institutional investors have bought into the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about MSA Safety.

View our latest analysis for MSA Safety

ownership-breakdown
NYSE:MSA Ownership Breakdown December 18th 2021

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About MSA Safety?

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.

MSA Safety already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. 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. If multiple institutions change their view on a stock at the same time, you could see the share price drop fast. It's therefore worth looking at MSA Safety's earnings history below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
NYSE:MSA Earnings and Revenue Growth December 18th 2021

Institutional investors own over 50% of the company, so together than can probably strongly influence board decisions. MSA Safety is not owned by hedge funds. Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP is currently the company's largest shareholder with 11% of shares outstanding. The Vanguard Group, Inc. is the second largest shareholder owning 9.1% of common stock, and BlackRock, Inc. holds about 7.6% of the company stock.

On further inspection, we found that more than half the company's shares are owned by the top 9 shareholders, suggesting that the interests of the larger shareholders are balanced out to an extent by the smaller ones.

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 MSA Safety

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.

I generally consider insider ownership to be a good thing. However, on some occasions it makes it more difficult for other shareholders to hold the board accountable for decisions.

We can report that insiders do own shares in MSA Safety Incorporated. The insiders have a meaningful stake worth US$365m. Most would see this as a real positive. If you would like to explore the question of insider alignment, you can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

With a 14% ownership, the general public, mostly comprising of individual investors, have some degree of sway over MSA Safety. 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:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 3 warning signs with MSA Safety , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

But ultimately it is the future, not the past, that will determine how well the owners of this business will do. Therefore we think it advisable to take a look at this free report showing whether analysts are predicting a brighter 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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