Are Institutions Heavily Invested In American States Water Company's (NYSE:AWR) Shares?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
April 03, 2021
NYSE:AWR

The big shareholder groups in American States Water Company (NYSE:AWR) 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. We also tend to see lower insider ownership in companies that were previously publicly owned.

With a market capitalization of US$2.8b, American States Water is a decent size, so it is probably on the radar of institutional investors. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions own shares in the company. Let's delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about American States Water.

See our latest analysis for American States Water

ownership-breakdown
NYSE:AWR Ownership Breakdown April 3rd 2021

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About American States Water?

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.

As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in American States Water. 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. It is not uncommon to see a big share price drop if two large institutional investors try to sell out of a stock at the same time. So it is worth checking the past earnings trajectory of American States Water, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
NYSE:AWR Earnings and Revenue Growth April 3rd 2021

Institutional investors own over 50% of the company, so together than can probably strongly influence board decisions. We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in American States Water. Looking at our data, we can see that the largest shareholder is BlackRock, Inc. with 16% of shares outstanding. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 12% and 6.9% of the stock.

A closer look at our ownership figures suggests that the top 11 shareholders have a combined ownership of 50% implying that no single shareholder has a majority.

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 American States Water

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.

I generally consider insider ownership to be a good thing. However, on some occasions it makes it more difficult for other shareholders to hold the board accountable for decisions.

We can see that insiders own shares in American States Water Company. This is a big company, so it is good to see this level of alignment. Insiders own US$40m worth of shares (at current prices). 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

With a 26% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over American States Water. 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. For example, we've discovered 1 warning sign for American States Water that you should be aware of before investing here.

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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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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