The big shareholder groups in Potbelly Corporation (NASDAQ:PBPB) have power over the company. Institutions will often hold stock in bigger companies, and we expect to see insiders owning a noticeable percentage of the smaller ones. 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.
Potbelly is a smaller company with a market capitalization of US$158m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it seems that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about Potbelly.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Potbelly?
Institutions typically measure themselves against a benchmark when reporting to their own investors, so they often become more enthusiastic about a stock once it's included in a major index. We would expect most companies to have some institutions on the register, especially if they are growing.
We can see that Potbelly 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. 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 Potbelly's earnings history below. Of course, the future is what really matters.
Our data indicates that hedge funds own 15% of Potbelly. That catches my attention because hedge funds sometimes try to influence management, or bring about changes that will create near term value for shareholders. Howard Silverman is currently the largest shareholder, with 9.3% of shares outstanding. The second and third largest shareholders are Archon Capital Management LLC and 180 Degree Capital Corp., with an equal amount of shares to their name at 8.2%. Furthermore, CEO Robert Wright is the owner of 0.6% of the company's shares.
On further inspection, we found that more than half the company's shares are owned by the top 8 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. There is a little analyst coverage of the stock, but not much. So there is room for it to gain more coverage.
Insider Ownership Of Potbelly
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.
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.
It seems insiders own a significant proportion of Potbelly Corporation. It has a market capitalization of just US$158m, and insiders have US$31m worth of shares in their own names. I would say this shows alignment with shareholders, but it is worth noting that the company is still quite small; some insiders may have founded the business. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.
General Public Ownership
With a 24% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over Potbelly. 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.
Private Equity Ownership
With a stake of 8.2%, private equity firms could influence the Potbelly board. Some might like this, because private equity are sometimes activists who hold management accountable. But other times, private equity is selling out, having taking the company public.
It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Potbelly better, we need to consider many other factors. For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for Potbelly that you should be aware of.
Ultimately the future is most important. You can access this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.
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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