What Kind Of Shareholder Appears On The Washington Real Estate Investment Trust’s (NYSE:WRE) Shareholder Register?

If you want to know who really controls Washington Real Estate Investment Trust (NYSE:WRE), 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 used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.

Washington Real Estate Investment Trust has a market capitalization of US$1.9b, so we would expect some institutional investors to have noticed the stock. In the chart below below, we can see that institutional investors have bought into the company. Let’s delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about WRE.

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NYSE:WRE Ownership Summary January 12th 19
NYSE:WRE Ownership Summary January 12th 19

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Washington Real Estate Investment Trust?

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 Washington Real Estate Investment Trust does have institutional investors; and they hold 87% of the stock. 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 Washington Real Estate Investment Trust’s earnings history, below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

NYSE:WRE Income Statement Export January 12th 19
NYSE:WRE Income Statement Export January 12th 19

Since institutional investors own more than half the issued stock, the board will likely have to pay attention to their preferences. Hedge funds don’t have many shares in Washington Real Estate Investment Trust. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.

Insider Ownership Of Washington Real Estate Investment Trust

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. 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.

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.

Our most recent data indicates that insiders own less than 1% of Washington Real Estate Investment Trust. It’s a big company, so even a small proportional interest can create alignment between the board and shareholders. In this case insiders own US$15m worth of shares. It is good to see board members owning shares, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.

General Public Ownership

The general public holds a 12% stake in WRE. 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:

I find it very interesting to look at who exactly owns a company. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too.

I always like to check for a history of revenue growth. You can too, by accessing this free chart of historic revenue and earnings in this detailed graph.

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.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.