Do Institutions Own Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ:CHDN) Shares?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
January 27, 2021

If you want to know who really controls Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ:CHDN), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.

With a market capitalization of US$8.0b, Churchill Downs 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. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Churchill Downs.

View our latest analysis for Churchill Downs

NasdaqGS:CHDN Ownership Breakdown January 27th 2021

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Churchill Downs?

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.

Churchill Downs already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. This can indicate that the company has a certain degree of credibility in the investment community. However, it is best to be wary of relying on the supposed validation that comes with institutional investors. They too, get it wrong sometimes. 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 Churchill Downs' historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

NasdaqGS:CHDN Earnings and Revenue Growth January 27th 2021

Investors should note that institutions actually own more than half the company, so they can collectively wield significant power. Churchill Downs is not owned by hedge funds. Looking at our data, we can see that the largest shareholder is BlackRock, Inc. with 13% of shares outstanding. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 8.6% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 7.9% by the third-largest shareholder. Furthermore, CEO William Carstanjen is the owner of 1.4% of the company's shares.

We did some more digging and found that 10 of the top shareholders account for roughly 50% of the register, implying that along with larger shareholders, there are a few smaller shareholders, thereby balancing out each others interests somewhat.

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 are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of Churchill Downs

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.

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.

Shareholders would probably be interested to learn that insiders own shares in Churchill Downs Incorporated. The insiders have a meaningful stake worth US$190m. Most would see this as a real positive. It is good to see this level of investment by insiders. You can check here to see if those insiders have been buying recently.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 12% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

Private Company Ownership

Our data indicates that Private Companies hold 9.2%, of the company's shares. It's hard to draw any conclusions from this fact alone, so its worth looking into who owns those private companies. Sometimes insiders or other related parties have an interest in shares in a public company through a separate private company.

Next Steps:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Churchill Downs better, we need to consider many other factors. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 3 warning signs with Churchill Downs (at least 1 which is a bit concerning) , 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.

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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