A look at the shareholders of American Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:AFG) can tell us which group is most powerful. We can see that institutions own the lion's share in the company with 66% ownership. In other words, the group stands to gain the most (or lose the most) from their investment into the company.
Because institutional owners have a huge pool of resources and liquidity, their investing decisions tend to carry a great deal of weight, especially with individual investors. As a result, a sizeable amount of institutional money invested in a firm is generally viewed as a positive attribute.
Let's delve deeper into each type of owner of American Financial Group, beginning with the chart below.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About American Financial Group?
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.
American Financial Group 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 American Financial Group's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.
Investors should note that institutions actually own more than half the company, so they can collectively wield significant power. We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in American Financial Group. Because actions speak louder than words, we consider it a good sign when insiders own a significant stake in a company. In American Financial Group's case, its Co-Chief Executive Officer, Carl Lindner, is the largest shareholder, holding 14% of shares outstanding. Meanwhile, the second and third largest shareholders, hold 9.1% and 7.9%, of the shares outstanding, respectively. Additionally, the company's CEO Stephen Lindner directly holds 6.5% of the total shares outstanding.
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 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. There are a reasonable number of analysts covering the stock, so it might be useful to find out their aggregate view on the future.
Insider Ownership Of American Financial Group
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.
Our information suggests that insiders maintain a significant holding in American Financial Group, Inc.. It has a market capitalization of just US$12b, and insiders have US$2.8b worth of shares in their own names. That's quite significant. It is good to see this level of investment. You can check here to see if those insiders have been buying recently.
General Public Ownership
The general public-- including retail investors -- own 11% 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.
While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Take risks for example - American Financial Group has 2 warning signs we think you should be aware of.
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. 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.