Stock Analysis

How Many Express, Inc. (NYSE:EXPR) Shares Do Institutions Own?

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NYSE:EXPR
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A look at the shareholders of Express, Inc. (NYSE:EXPR) can tell us which group is most powerful. Large companies usually have institutions as shareholders, and we usually see insiders owning shares in smaller companies. Companies that used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.

With a market capitalization of US$104m, Express is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutional investors have bought into the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Express.

Check out our latest analysis for Express

ownership-breakdown
NYSE:EXPR Ownership Breakdown November 27th 2020

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Express?

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 Express 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. 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 Express' historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

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NYSE:EXPR Earnings and Revenue Growth November 27th 2020

Investors should note that institutions actually own more than half the company, so they can collectively wield significant power. It would appear that 14% of Express shares are controlled by hedge funds. That worth noting, since hedge funds are often quite active investors, who may try to influence management. Many want to see value creation (and a higher share price) in the short term or medium term. Looking at our data, we can see that the largest shareholder is Contrarius Investment Management Limited with 9.3% of shares outstanding. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 8.6% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 7.1% by the third-largest shareholder.

We did some more digging and found that 10 of the top shareholders account for roughly 52% of the register, implying that along with larger shareholders, there are a few smaller shareholders, thereby balancing out each others interests somewhat.

Researching institutional ownership is a good way to gauge and filter a stock's expected performance. The same can be achieved by studying analyst sentiments. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of Express

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. 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.

We can see that insiders own shares in Express, Inc.. It has a market capitalization of just US$104m, and insiders have US$1.9m worth of shares, in their own names. It is good to see some investment by insiders, but I usually like to see higher insider holdings. It might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.

General Public Ownership

With a 27% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over Express. 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. For example, we've discovered 3 warning signs for Express (2 don't sit too well with us!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

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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